Natural Wonders

Ice skating, skiing, hiking trails

Winter's beauty crops up in unusual places, like Friday evening's sunset glow on an icy park road at St. Patrick's County Park in South Bend.

Winter is playing hide-and-seek. Ice floes drifted down the St. Joe River on Saturday, then melted with that night’s misty rain and returned on Tuesday’s frigid morning.

Snowmobiling, tubing and nordic skiing were abundant Saturday in southwest Michigan, then withered and turned icy on Sunday — needing just fresh blankets of snow. As we saw, last week’s light fluffy snows packed down very quickly.

Photographers, though, are already finding the first goofy ice formations along Lake Michigan’s beaches and piers. 

Weather update:Making short work of the snow in Michiana

So, on that note, here are some ways to find lesser-known winter fun spots and the season’s elusive wonders. Plus an aid for folks with visual impairments.

Tube & ski in Berrien Center: If you’ve skied, hiked or biked at Love Creek County Park, you’ve driven past Five Pines Ministries and probably didn’t realize that you could tube its five-lane, 400-foot hill or ski trails where it grooms and sets tracks. Five Pines has offered tubing and winter sports for well more than 30 years, Executive Director Nate Parsons says.

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