Northwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Bendix Woods County Park

Bendix Woods County Park consists of 195 acres of woodland, created prairie and open space.

Downy Woodpecker at Bendix Woods


Due to its glacial end-moraine geology, the park’s trails traverse rolling topography, uncommon in this section of the state. A 27-acre IDNR State Dedicated Nature Preserve composed of mature beech-maple woods is located within the park and the spring ephemeral Large-Flowered Trillium display is notable here in April and May.

The Nature Preserve area can be accessed from Big Tree Trail and during spring migration it harbors a variety of thrushes, vireos and warblers, as well as Scarlet Tanagers. Nesting Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls can be found here. Mixed feeding flocks are often seen in September. Winter is a good time to search for Hairy, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers.

In the center of the park, check the ponds for Wood Ducks and an occasional Green Heron. The edge habitat here attracts Northern Waterthrush and other migrants in spring.

A 13-acre area of evergreens is a historic living sign that spells the word STUDEBAKER, when viewed from the air, and is worth checking for Red-Breasted Nuthatches and summer resident Indigo Buntings. Red-Tailed and Broad-Winged hawks have been known to nest here.

The 4-acre constructed prairie attracts nesting bluebirds and a mix of sparrows. Watch overhead for Chimney Swifts.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
2 to 3 hours.

Best Times to Bird: 
Bendix Woods County Park is a four-season birding site, with late April and May being the best for songbird migration.


56960 Timothy Road, New Carlisle, IN 46552-9522. Accessed from State Road 2.
Park hours vary seasonally. The gates are often open by 8 am on weekday mornings and at 10 am on weekends and holidays. Closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
St. Joseph County Parks
Vehicle entrance fees apply on peak winter and summer weekends. Restrictions: Please obey all park rules and regulations.
Parking can be found throughout the park.
Nearby Amenities:
Year-round restrooms are located at the Glenn Bauer Shelter (daily) and at the Nature Center (weekdays). Park maps and a small gift shop are located at the Nature Center. Seasonal restrooms are located at picnic sites throughout the park. A campground is located across the highway. The town of New Carlisle offers a variety of restaurants within 10 minutes of the park.
Most restrooms are ADA accessible.
Phone Number:
(574) 654-3155 

Written by: Evie Kirkwood
Photo by: Ryan Sanderson