Recreation

Sturgis offers opportunities for recreational activities unparalleled in any other city. The area sports 55 lakes, six rivers and other bodies of water, offering plenty of chances for swimming, boating, fishing and water skiing. Other activities available in this sportsman’s paradise include golfing — there are seven public and three private courses within a 25-mile radius of Sturgis — a 32-lane bowling alley, two miniature golf courses, 15 tennis courts, baseball and softball diamonds, and much more. Small game and trophy deer are abundant in St. Joseph County, making the Sturgis area a popular place with hunters.

St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club, an excellent and safe place to practice skeet, trap and target range shooting, is a 15-minute drive west of Sturgis. Hunter’s safety courses are offered yearly to the public.

Sturgis has many exciting physical activities for people of all ages, including the Sturgis Community Pool, which offers year-round fun with indoor and outdoor swimming facilities; classes for all ages are available.

The Doyle Community Center, a 75,000-square-foot facility located on North Franks Avenue, is one of the largest health, fitness and recreational facilities in SouthernMichigan and Northern Indiana.

The Center offers a wide variety of facilities and programs:

  • Four multi-purpose indoor courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis, indoor soccer, flag football, floor hockey and more
  • A four-lane indoor run/walk track
  • A cardio room with treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, and more
  • Two weight rooms, one with free weights and one with top of the line weight machines
  • A spin bike room with classes available
  • A variety of aerobic and fitness classes
  • Recreational Activities including: floor hockey, tball, sand volleyball, tennis, 5K run/ walk and more
  • Adult, youth, and intramuralsports leagues
  • Special Events and activities for children and adults

Within St. Joseph County and surrounding Sturgis are 10 county park facilities, eight of which are located adjacent to a river, lake, creek or stream. These county parks include such features as flower gardens, benches, boating, nature trails, hiking, sports fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing, canoeing, andwinter snow tubing and ice skating.

Camp Fort Hill Nature Center is a 228 acre park on Tamarack Lake, just 12 miles from Sturgis. Originally used by Native Americans as a signal hill, Camp Fort Hill was purchased by a nonprofit corporation as a 160acreplot in 1-932; 6-8 acres were added in 1984. The park features swimming, aclimbing wall, an annual “ BuddyFishing” outing, day camps, nature trails and camp programs, allproviding educational andrecreational opportunities for youth and adults. The camp is a favorite for families, churches, schools, scoutsand other groups.

has officially been titled "The Gateway City," opening the gates of Michigan to all who wish tovisit this wonder ful state. No other event expresses this invitation soeloquently as Sturgis Fest, sponsored by the Sturgis AreaChamber of Commerce andHamilton HarleyDavidson. Theweeklong festival features a host ofexciting ac tivities, including a run/ walk e vent, a motorcycle ride, a pancake breakfast, family night, outdoor movie and ice cream social, an arts and crafts fair, rides and inflatables for children, a car show, many different food vendors, andmuch more. The Monday evening ofthe festival is celebrated at theSturgesYoung Auditorium with a dinner, speeches by dignitaries anda presentation of the Citizen of the Year awards, among other delights.

The week is packed with ac tivities and exhibits, sidewalk sales andmore, ending on Saturday with a parade, music fest and fireworks.

Fun Fridays are held every Friday night throughout the summer, from the first Friday in June to the last Friday in August, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Held on Pleasant Avenue, Fun Fridays features live music, food, a farmers market, and a number of attractions and games for children.

A Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday morning in the parking lot in front of Dunhams's and TSC from June – September.

Other festivals and recreational spots in St. Joseph County include:

  • Three Rivers Water Festival in June
  • The Covered Bridge Festival in Centreville, in July
  • The Colon Magic Festival in August
  • The St. Joseph County Grange Fair in Centreville, in September
  • Nottawa Fruit Farms in Centreville features fall hayrides, a petting zoo, pick-your-own berries, a retail store and bakery.
  • In Jones, Michigan, the Swiss Valley Ski Area offers seven lifts and 11 ski runs up to 1,800 feet long. Swiss Valley is a family fun area with reasonable rates and 100 percent snow cover.
  • Just 30 minutes from Sturgis in Shipshewana, Indiana, can be found fabulous attractions such as the huge Shipshewana Flea Market (May through October), the Mennonite Visitor’s Center, unique dining, the Shipshewana Livestock Auction, a myriad of unusual stores and shops, and the monthly Northeast Indiana Folk Music Gathering, which provides a hands-on folk music experience.

When visiting Sturgis, ample choices for accommodations are available. Excellent bed and breakfasts and several hotels and campgrounds are scattered in and around the town.

If ever a ride is required, contact the St. Joseph Country Transportation Authority, which provides any ride in the county for a fee. For more information, explore www.sjcta.info.

The opportunities for fun and excitement are so immense and diverse, you might think Sturgis invented the word FUN!