South Bend Riverwalk

by Bill Spalding


From Sturgeon Lake to Lake Michigan,
The St. Joseph River flows as far as it can.
It flows all the way from beginning to end,
Even through the Indiana town of South Bend.


The sharp turn on the river provides a name
To the city that’s home to Notre Dame.
IU South Bend marks the beginning of a route
Along a river that’s home of river trout.


Behind the Schurz Library, across the street,
The Riverwalk begins, and it cannot be beat.
To walk on the trail, you go west (not east),
And you will see lovely families of ducks and geese.


Across the street from a parking lot with a ramp
Veterans Memorial Park looks like a great place to camp.
The river provides benches for taking a break,
And watching fish make their way to the lake.


It flows by the YMCA and the Brick.
The Farmer’s Market has many choices to pick.
The river flows on surrounded by trees,
And you can hike the trail with relative ease.


Two boathouses lie along the path.
Falling out of a boat will feel like a bath.
A nearby park is named after a man
Who was our mayor and our governor: Joe Kernan.


Joggers come out at the crack of dawn
To jog by Howard Park’s wide-open lawn.
The river literally divides the city in two,
But it unites citizens with a fun thing to do.


Whitewater rafting can be locally done
On the East Race, and it’s so much fun.
Rafts, helmets, paddles, and life vests
Cannot prevent rafters from getting wet


South Bend’s economy will continue to grow
As the St. Joseph River continues to flow.
Kayaking and rafting on the East Race
Have made South Bend a pretty great place








About the Author

Bill Spalding was born at St Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka, IN on Thursday, March 9, 1995, the second of three sons
of Dr. Michael Spalding and Mrs. Cynthia Spalding. He grew up in South Bend, graduating from St. Anthony De Padua
School in 2010 and Marian High School in 2014. He then attended IU South Bend, where he earned a bachelor’s degree
in history in 2019. He has always been fascinated with how important the St. Joseph River has been for South Bend’s
history and economy, and he finds it upsetting that the river walk is so under-appreciated. No matter how different
we are, the river reminds us that we are all part of the same community.

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