Notre Dame Lakes in the Fall

Hey There Benders,

The Fall foliage at St. Mary's Lake

The Fall foliage at St. Mary’s Lake

I was out of town again for most of this week for work—out in Utah this time, sampling the great coffee shops in Salt Lake City and giving some talks at the University of Utah.  Anyways, there is lots to love about the West, but they didn’t have much by way of autumn colors out there.  So I was thrilled to fly back into the SBN yesterday afternoon and to see all of the beautiful reds, yellows, and purples lighting up northern Indiana.  Today I thought I would take in the picturesque season with one of my favorite low-key South Bend activities, a walk around the lakes at Notre Dame.

Fun Fact: Notre Dame’s real name is “Notre Dame du Lac”—Our Lady of the Lake.  Another Fun Fact:  There are actually two lakes—St. Mary’s Lake and St. Joseph’s Lake.  Which leads to a puzzle, at least for this blogger.  Why is there massive referential indeterminacy in the name of our fair university?  Philosophical questions like this are best pondered with a walk around one or both of said lakes.

Mary and Joseph are adjacent to each other.  Joseph is somewhat larger and has a beach which people hang out in the summer.  Mary is, in my opinion, the lovelier of the two.  In the summer it is home to many turtles and fish.  These days the most noticeable residents are the geese which have completely overrun the northeast bank.  You can circumnavigate Mary in about half an hour, stopping off for pictures of the Dome from the far west bank.

The Grotto at Notre Dame

The Grotto at Notre Dame after my walk

I recommend parking near the Basilica and stopping off for a quiet moment at the Grotto before or after your stroll.  If you head a bit further west from Mary, down the service road, you can also pay a visit to the Holy Cross Cemetery, a very beautiful (and moving) spot off the beaten path.

I suspect we are nearing the end of our bout of perfect fall weather, and those leaves won’t be around for long.  Go check out the lakes!

PS:  My mother found a picture of me as a six? seven? year old visiting ND in the Fall many years ago.  I loved the lakes in the fall even then.  Now if I could only find an adult sized white sweatsuit to wear on my adventures now…

A young appreciator of ND's fall scenery.

A young appreciator of ND’s fall scenery.


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