Cass County Parks
For the active sportsman, while the city is a primary provider of recreational services, the Dowagiac Union School District and Southwestern Michigan College also play important roles. School district facilities are of major significance for softball, soccer and tennis enthusiasts. Neighborhood schools provide additional recreational sites, as volunteers organize baseball, softball, soccer and football programs for youths, ages five to 18 years old.
In spring, nature lovers trek to Dowagiac Woods, known statewide for its spectacular display of wild flowers. The Michigan nature Association calls it the largest woodland of virgin soil in Michigan. Never plowed, planted or grazed, it retains its original natural diversity, as it illustrates how forests looked when the first settlers arrived.
Heddon Park provides bank-fishing opportunities for persons with disabilities and is likely the most popular fishing spot in Dowagiac. The park is used year round by all for fishing, picnicking or just a spot to “get away“ for a while.
Lions Optimist Park
Lions/Optimist Park provides four lush acres, adjacent to the Dowagiac Creek off South Front Street.
Lush and sprawling 18 acre park to enjoy youth soccer, softball and football. All ages will enjoy disk golf, walking and biking trails, universally accessible playground area, pavilion and ample parking is available for spectators and park users.
Rich history of the area is shaded at Riverside by the brilliant pink and white Dogwood trees. The area bursts in to a vibrant array of colors and blooms in May across the serene countryside. Savoring nature's beautiful work in progress, day-visitors often tour Riverside and area parks, where hundreds of Dogwoods and perennials are beautifully maintained.
The 10-acre Rotary Park, located off Riverside Drive, is the focal point of organized sports and active recreation. It provides softball fields, skateboard ramps, and a shaded picnic and playground area. Rotary Park also serves as the trail head for the eight miles of cross-country, walking, and skiing trails, which are contained in the Rudolphi Woods and Rudolphi Wildlife Refuge.
Dowagiac is also the home of Rudolphi Woods, enjoyed year-round for hiking, running, cross-country skiing and identification of natural flora. Located off Dailey Road, 155 acres of high-quality open space abound, featuring more than eight miles of nature trails.
This park located in the far northwest section of the city supports area-wide youth sports including baseball, softball, soccer, and football, as well as biking and walking pathways, pavilion and a universally accessible play area. Ample parking is available for spectators and park users.
Walter Ward Park
The three-acre Walter Ward Park offers basketball courts, a softball field, playground and picnic shelter.
These five acres, in the northeast corner of the city provides two basketball courts, a playground, and pavilion complete picnic tables.