River Ramble Natural PlayScape

River Ramble logo

Imagine an Outdoor Place for Kids...

Where they can climb, dig, build a shelter and crawl through tunnels... 

...a place to explore, where unstructured play rules! The River Ramble Natural PlayScape at St. Patrick’s County Park provides all of that and more!

The River Ramble is open during park hours. When visiting the River Ramble, please remember:

  • The River Ramble is designed for children 4 to 10 years old, but all ages are welcome. 
  • Bicycles and sledding are not allowed in the River Ramble. 
  • Pets, including dogs, are not allowed in the River Ramble.
  • Kids could be dirty, wet and muddy after playing!
  • Have Fun!

Grand Opening is sponsored by:

Cliffs Secondary Logo

Learning Through Play

The play features are themed on the St. Joseph River, a natural resource that defines our community. Kids can:

  • create their own mini-river at the water pump and sand play area
  • climb a giant fishing net
  • build an eagle's nest
  • wander across a bridge over a mini-wetland
  • paddle a make-believe boat... and more. 

Features are connected by an accessible path inviting children of all abilities to play. Families can gather in the pavilion, share a bench, or hang out in hammocks, too.

Outdoor Play Means Happy, Healthy Kids!

A growing body of research indicates active “free play” in natural settings boosts intellectual, emotional and social health. In addition, it provides an outlet for physical activity, which is often lacking in children who spend an average of 7 hours a day* in front of a screen. And it helps kids be better problem solvers as it boosts self-confidence. (*according to the CDC).

Master Plan Public Survey Results

Thank You to Everyone Who Helped Bring this Outdoor Experience to Children

We have outstanding support from key partners:

  • Visit South Bend-Mishawaka Tourism Enhancement Grant
  • St. Joseph County TEAM Grant
  • Young Professionals Network-South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Friends of St. Joseph County Parks
  • Friends of Bendix Woods and Spicer Lake
  • Community Foundation of St. Joseph County
  • CreatINg Places, a program of IHCDA