By: JOHN GRIFFEE
For those seeking a quiet, secluded hike, Chamberlain Lake Nature Preserve is perfect. Nestled between looming trees lies the entrance to an 82-acre nature preserve hosting a section of the once-great Kankakee Marsh.
The park features a short mile and a half trail that leads to a view of the marshland. The water is full of life, allowing visitors to see a variety of birds, ranging from ducks to herons. Bird-watching is the primary activity offered at Chamberlain Lake. It is not an uncommon sight to visit the walkway beside the wetland and see flocks of geese landing and splashing around in the water.
At the entrance of the park rests a sign discussing the damage done by a tornado that hit the park in 2001. The aftermath is still visual, with uprooted trees strewn across the outskirts of the trail. For all the damage done, the park remains beautiful, as it slowly regains its former state.
The trail offered at the park is wonderful for any type of hiker, as the trail is in good condition and does not require boots. There is no entrance fee, and the park is typically empty despite lying off of Crumstown Highway.
While Chamberlain Lake is not the largest or most enticing park offered around South Bend, it still has its appeal. As the trees open up and reveal the walkway to the marsh, the life around the water makes the view breathtaking and serene.
At that moment when the Great Blue Herons sound their tune and take flight, you forget what the park is missing and appreciate what it has. Chamberlain Lake is one of the hidden gems of South Bend.