Spring is one of the best times to head out, breathe in the crisp air, and explore some of the great scenic areas that can be found across our communities. One of the best spots for doing just that is the Mishawaka Riverwalk, and the surprising number of public art displays that dot the two-and-a-half mile loop make for great visual interest as you walk, bike or run the route.
On a recent (and particularly beautiful) September afternoon, I decided to explore this local asset myself, and it was a great experience! Parking at the newly-unveiled Central Park in downtown Mishawaka is the way to go, with ample spots and a great location. Bonus – if you have kids with you, they can climb on, run through, and splash all around the new playground equipment before starting your way down the Riverwalk.
Heading west from Central Park, you will cross right through the heart of downtown Mishawaka into Beutter Park (pictured above), which is another great place to pause and take in the abundance of beauty all around, from the water features to sculptures and all the people stopping to enjoy it as well. As you continue on your stroll, Battell Park is the next point of interest. This park boasts one particularly tall Civil War statue, bandshell that houses live performances on summer evenings, and an enchanting terraced rock garden.
As you round the western-most end of the Mishawaka Riverwalk, and start heading east along the other side of the St. Joseph River, you will immediately be engrossed in the landscaping of Kate’s Garden. The inspiring “Educators” statue, gazebo, and mindfully-landscaped paths will have you wanting to stick around for a while.
Once you pull yourself away from Kate’s Garden, you will soon find yourself crossing a small bridge onto Kamm Island Park. Greenery, trees and water surround the Riverwalk on this special island park, making for a great place to have a picnic, toss a ball or simply soak in the sun.
The Riverwalk continues into Beutter Park once again, and as you pass through downtown Mishawaka to the eastern end of the Riverwalk, you will come across several installations of art, which beg you to stop and take in the details of the sculptures as you make your way to the end of your journey.
Whether you’re a local, or a visitors looking for a little fresh air, the Mishawaka Riverwalk will never disappoint – no matter what time of year.