Parks and Preserves in Harbor Country
Parks are plentiful in Harbor Country and provide space for being as active or leisurely as you wish!
- Hike a trail
- Spot some birds
- Picnic with a basket
- Fish from a pier
- Cross-country ski
- Shoot some hoops
- Splash around
- Play on the swings
Check our Events section for a list of park activities year-around!
Galien River County Park
Opened in May 2014, the Galien River County Park is Harbor Country’s newest park. This 86 acres land was acquired by Berrien Country in 2001 and include an Interpretive Center (opening at a later date), a canopy walkway, observation platforms and boardwalk trails leading through the wetlands and to the river’s edge. All facilities are designed to provide universal (ADA) access.Generous grant funding was pledged by the Pokagon Fund and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to assist Berrien County with these improvements. The area is part of the larger “New Buffalo Marsh,” a Great Lakes marsh that formed along the Galien River just upstream from the river’s mouth at Lake Michigan.
NO DOGS ALLOWED
For updates and photos visit: Berriencounty.org
New Buffalo City and Township Parks
Grand Beach Marsh, COL acquired Grand Beach Marsh in late 2009 through a transfer from The Nature Conservancy. Originally established in late 1984, Grand Beach Marsh Preserve is an 11-acre gem that provides an outstanding example of a globally rare coastal plain marsh. Several rare or declining species can be found in this habitat, including the Virginia meadow-beauty, Olympia marble butterfly, and spatulate-leaved sundew.
Lions Pavilion Park, The Lions Pavilion is named such because it was a generous gift to the City of New Buffalo from the New Buffalo Lions Club. The New Buffalo Lions Club continues to help out. The pavilion is located at 101 Marquette Drive, which is across the street from the City Beach.
New Buffalo Lakefront Park and Beach is at the end of Whittaker St, just across the bridge. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 am – 6 pm. Warning flags indicate lake conditions. Only swim in the designated, signed area. A sand-wheelchair is available at the snack bar. There is a pavilion, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, playground and benches. A parking fee is charged. Sunrises and sunsets are free. 269-469-1522. Website: newbuffalo.com/beach-parks
New Buffalo Township Memorial Park, Red Arrow Hwy just north of US 12, has a pavilion with picnic benches, grills, children’s playground, basketball court, splash pad, bocce ball courts, horse shoe pits and restrooms. The pavillion can be rented. 269-469-1011
Oselka Park, Bronson and Indiana Sts in New Buffalo, behind the New Buffalo High School football field, offers baseball and soccer fields and horseshoes, as well as a children’s playground. The pavilion with fireplace can be rented. You also can use the running track around the football field. 269-469-1500
Sari Asher Memorial Dog Park, 1420 Washington St, New Buffalo. New Buffalo’s only dog park where dogs can run and play. Open daily, dawn until dusk. Open to all area residents and visitors. Donations accepted at the park. .
Sima Preserve is located along the Galien River in New Buffalo, adjacent to the 86-acre Galien River County Park Preserve purchased by Berrien County in 2001. It is the only remaining Great Lakes marsh of its size in southern Michigan. The preserves are important sanctuaries for native and migratory birds and for numerous and diverse native plants and animals.
Turtle Pond Nature Trail, at the end of Harrison St at Washington St in New Buffalo, is a half mile trail along the railroad tracks with a bridge that runs over a pond. Website: cityofnewbuffalo.org/turtlepond
Chikaming Township (includes Union Pier, Lakeside, Harbert & Sawyer)
Chikaming Township Park and Nature Preserve, Warren Woods Rd just south and east of where Warren Woods Rd crosses I-94, is 263 acres which include wetlands, woodlands, a 5-acre lake and borders the Galien River. It is diverse and rich, providing a wide variety of ecological habitats for bird study, wildlife ecology and flower and tree identification. There are currently walking and bike trails, viewing and fishing platforms, picnic facilities, community garden and restrooms. Future plans include preservation programs, reforestation and additional recreational facilities.
Critter Haven, a quaint preserve nestled on Harbert Road just east of The Woods Preserve. This preserve is a generous donation from a family very involved with Chikaming Open Lands. The property is mainly a wet woods ecosystem with a small creek running through it. Critter Haven’s location close to the lake assures that it plays a crucial part in maintaining and preserving high water quality of Lake Michigan and the local watershed. This preserve houses a unique population of yellow birch trees and vernal pools, which are home to amphibians. It is also a resting spot for migrating birds and butterflies!
Harbert Community Park, 13411 Red Arrow Hwy, just north of Harbert Rd, includes a regulation size Little League baseball field, bleachers, a pavilion with two grills and picnic tables, benches, a playground, a small fishing pond and the area’s newest dog park as well as an ice skating rink in the winter. There is off-street parking. Open from dawn to dusk.
Harbert Road Preserve, Harbert Rd between Three Oaks Rd and Flynn Rd, is an 88-acre preserve with two ponds, wetlands, wooded and open land trails, bluebird boxes, a shelter, prairie grass field, nesting fields for pheasants and wild flower patches. Wear your walking shoes because it’s a hike from the parking area to the blazed trail. Open sunrise to sunset.
Robinson Preserve, located on East Rd, features a beech-maple forest and oak upland. Located on 80-acres, it’s open to the public for hiking and cross country skiing, but you must break your own trails. Hunting, camping and fires are prohibited.
Three Oaks Village and Township Parks
Carver Park, Oak and Ash, Carver Park is a wonderful spot for a picnic. The park houses picnic tables, grills, and a pathway. There are historical markers with information about the history of the area. It is home of the Annual Flag Day activites.
Chamberlain Path, Elm and Maple, Three Oaks Sculpture Garden in downtown at Chamberlain Path is home to beautiful sculpture by several highly-esteemed artists that will be rotated and it is funded by the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative. The path connects Elm St. and Generations Drive.
Dillard Park, North side of town at Cherry and Walnut. This is a small neighborhood playground.
Dewey Cannon Park, E Maple St, Three Oaks, is home to the historic Dewey Cannon which was presented to the village by President McKinley for raising the highest per capita amount in the nation for the Spanish-American War Memorial. Band shell, picnic tables and volleyball courts are available. Open dawn to dusk. Check the Harbor Country calendar of events for weekend music and drama programs.
Kesling Nature Preserve, Located along the South Branch of the Galien River, the Kesling Nature Preserve is home to a rich diversity of plants and wildlife and has something to offer just about all outdoor enthusiasts. One of the year-round highlights of the preserve is the scenic views of the deep ravine that cuts through the property. A small tributary to the river flows at the base of a 40-foot deep ravine under a canopy of giant beeches, maples, oaks and many other kinds of trees. It is known as one of the most popular spring bird-watching spots in Berrien County -Directions: From I-94, take exit 4A, onto US12 East. Go about 2.5 miles east on US-12 and turn south onto Basswood Road. Go 1.5 miles south on Basswood Road and turn west onto Forest Lawn Road. Follow Forest Lawn Road about .75 miles. The preserve is on the north side of the road, just east of the bridge over the South Branch of the Galien River. Website: swmlc.org/kesling-nature-preserve
Timber Town Playground, Nels Dr and Locust St, Three Oaks, is a unique playground where kids can hide, glide, slide, climb, balance and tumble. There’s a special Tiny Town area for 2- to 5-year-olds. Built of timber with non-skid surfaces and padded hand and foot grips, it’s a great playground kids will love.
Warren Woods State Park, East of I-94 between Warren Woods Road and W. Elm Valley Road. Warren Woods State Park, administered by the Warren Dunes State Park officials, is a favorite site for hikers and naturalists. Warren Woods is a virgin beech-maple forest, the last of its type known in Michigan. There are outstanding individual trees of several species, including many greater than five feet in diameter and more than 125 feet in height. Spectacular displays of wildflowers are best viewed in April and early May. Naturalists will also appreciate the wide variety of plants and wild flowers that grow in the woods – over 100 species! After your hike, sit back and relax with a quiet picnic lunch at one of the many picnic sites found throughout the park. Website: michigandnr.com/warren-woods-park
Watkins Memorial Park, Nels Dr and Locust St, Three Oaks, is a 20-acre park which includes Hoadley Trail with a 1-1/2 mile physical education trail including 21 workout stations. The park features sand volleyball courts, baseball field, basketball court and picnic tables. There is a large pavilion with prep kitchen, bathrooms, grills, picnic tables and electricity that can be rented. 269-756-9221