By: JOHN GRIFFEE
South Bend is home to many natural gems; hosting a multitude of nature preserves and parks, with many free to the public. Lydick Bog is the newest addition to the list of areas offered.
Lydick Bog spans 178 acres, with a trail that winds along the various wetland regions contained within the forest. While the trail is only a mile and a half long, it offers a wide range of terrain and plenty of picturesque areas.
The area contains ephemeral ponds, byproducts of regions once carved out by glaciers. What makes the ponds special is the diversity in the view. The ponds can look completely different depending on the amount of rain or melting snow in the area, offering something new each trip.
Wetlands and bogs are regions that have been largely wiped out, despite holding such importance to the environment. They are environments that contain a lot of diversity in animal and plant life, leading to a focus on preserving what is left.
Being wetlands, boots are highly recommended for the trip. With dips and dives in the landscape, mud is not hard to find in the days following rain or snow. While the trail is well preserved, caution should be exercised when hiking.
Even in the dead of winter, life is clearly seen in the park. Bluebirds flutter from tree to tree, tracks dot the snow and woodpeckers sound a hammer across the canopy. For a short trail, Lydick Bog has a lot to offer to both the casual and experienced hiker.
Restoration is still taking place at the park, with contact information available on site for anyone interested in getting out and helping to restore one of the last remaining bogs in our state. With all the hustle and bustle of campus life, sometimes taking a break and getting out for a hike is all you need.