canoeing in Indiana canoeing in Indiana

Navigate Indiana Waters: Guide to an Epic Canoeing Adventure

What does a perfect weekend plan look like? Canoeing across a beautiful river seems like a good answer. This article will highlight some of the essential things about canoeing in Indiana.

Canoeing, as you know, is a popular watersport in which you have to paddle a light and narrow boat or a canoe with the help of a single-bladed paddle. 
Did you know that, earlier, canoeing was an ancient mode of transportation? But now, it is prevalent as a recreational form.

Some recreational forms of canoeing are- canoe camping, canoe racing, whitewater canoeing, and more. It’s also been a part of the Olympics since 1936.

Canoeing is an excellent idea to spend time with your family or friends. So, keep your electronics safely somewhere, and pack your lunch boxes as we are about to get on the water.

Oh, but before that, we need to learn a little about Canoeing in Indiana. If we are talking about canoeing, how can we not talk about Indiana? Indiana has over 35,000 miles of rivers and streams, making canoeing the best possible recreational activity.

Best Spots for Canoeing in Indiana

In Indiana, you will find canoe trails from beginner to expert level. Some of the best spots for canoeing in Indiana for paddle trips are mentioned below.

1. White River

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Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash. Copyright 2018
If you are a little on the social side, this place is for you, as it remains crowded most of the time. It’s a family-friendly spot; you’ll see children around too.
You have to keep paddling as it’s windy here; it will take you 3-4 hours to paddle the river.
The mosquitoes here are irritating, so remember to carry repellent as well.

Access points in White River-

  1. Wapihani Landing
  2.  Forest Park
  3.  Livery
  4.  Potter’s Bridge
  5. Rusty Oar
  6. White River Campground
  7.  Lafayette Trace
  8. Perkinsville

2. Sugar Creek

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Photo by Mika Korhonen on Unsplash. Copyright 2019
It was named so because of the abundance of sugar maple trees; Sugar Creek is considered the most beautiful stream for canoeing in Indiana.
The river flows through the center of Turkey Run and Shades State Park. In Sugar Creek, you can witness four historically covered bridges.

Access Points in Sugar Creek-

  • · Montezuma (on the Wabash River),
· West Union Covered Bridge
· Jackson Covered Bridge (private access only)
· Cox Ford Covered Bridge
· Suspension Bridge at Turkey Run
· Brush Creek Public Access (at Narrows Covered Bridge)
· Deer’s Mill Covered Bridge
· Sugar Creek DNR Public Fishing Area
· Sugar Creek Campground (private access & camping)
· Crawfordsville public access point
· Crawfordsville Dam
· Darlington Covered Bridge
· Heron Rookery
· Eagles Nest

3. Blue River

Are you fond of aquatic animals? Then it would be best if you went to this river in Southern Indiana. Here, you will find turtles, Smallmouth Bass, Catfish, Rock Bass, Bluegill, etc.
Springs, caves, half canyons, islands, rural farmlands, forests, and bridges.

Access Points in Blue River-

· Fredericksburg
· Totten Ford – private, paid access only
· Blue River Campground – closed
· Milltown Dam – dangerous, portage required
· Rothrocks Mill
· Cardinal House Lodge – private access only
· Harrison Spring Cabin – private access only
· Blue River Chapel
· Mills Crossing
· Old Iron Bridge
· Mouth of Blue River (at Ohio River)

4. Lake Monroe

One thing that Lake Monroe promises you is a beautiful vista, and here, you can experience majestic sunrises and sunsets. Wildlife is rich, and you will find bald eagles, deer, geodes, and more.

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Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash. Copyright 2020

5. Tippecanoe River

This river of lakes is an excellent place for canoeing in Indiana. It has rich and varied wildlife, like:

1. Kingfishers
2. woodpeckers
3. wild ducks
4. vultures and Hawks
5. several whitetail deer
6. otter

7. Great Blue Herons

Access Points in Tippecanoe River-

Winamac Access Site, Tippecanoe River State Park, Monterey, Route-19.

6. Pigeon River

It is a lovely river, and it is as clear as crystal water, which is less than one-half mile wide. It’s one of the best fishing and hunting streams in Indiana.
Fish species found include trout, northern pike, large and smallmouth bass, and more. The fauna includes deer, squirrels, muskrats, beavers, waterfowl, and songbirds.

Access Points in Pigeon River

County Rd, State Road 9.

7. Driftwood River

You will enjoy canoeing and fishing in this lovely river in Central Indiana, as there is plenty of fish in the river. It’s a popular spot for fishing, apart from canoeing in Indiana.

8. Elkhart River

This gorgeous blend of rural and urban areas will provide you with an extraordinary canoeing experience in Indiana. It’s a great place to start if you are a beginner.

Access Points in Elkhart River-

1. Oliver Lake Access

2. Messick Lake Public Access

3. Delt Church Park

4. Sylvan Lake Outlet

5. Duke’s Bridge Access
6. Mallard Roost #1
7. Mallard Roost #2
8. Mallard Roost #3
9. Pigeon Street Bridge
10. Woodlawn Park, Ligonier
11. Benton
12. Benton Spillway
13. Baintertown Access
14. Shoup Parson
15. Shanklin Park
16. Rogers Park
17. Ox-Bow Park
18. Studebaker Park
19. Waterfall Drive
20. Portage around Elkhart Dam
21. Beardsley Ave Access
22. Elkhart River by Noble County Line
23. Elkhart River Downstream of Ligonier

24. Elkhart Environmental Center

9. Flatrock River

The place does not remain busy, making it a peaceful place for canoeing in Indiana; it’s a good spot for bird-watching as well.

Access Points in Flatrock River-

St. Omer, St. Paul, Highway 9
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Photo by Steve Giampa on Unsplash. Copyright 2019

2. Top Agencies for Canoeing in Indiana

When it comes to good canoe agencies, Indiana does not remain behind. Here are some agencies you can consider for canoeing in Indiana:
1. Clements Canoes Outdoor Center – Deer’s Mill Livery
2. Cave Country Canoes-Blue River
3. Whitewater Canoe Rental
4. Old Mill Canoe Rental – Blue River (OMCR)
5. Sugar Creek Campground & Canoe Rentals
6. Turkey Run Canoe & Camping
7. Eagle Creek Outfitters

2. Benefits of Canoeing

Canoeing in Indiana
Photo by Alan Bishop on Unsplash Copyrights 2019
  1. Canoeing can improve your aerobic fitness and muscle strength.
  2. It is surprising, but canoeing can also help you lose weight.
  3. It’s a meditative activity.
  4. It helps you bond well with your family and friends.

3. Frequently Asked Questions about Canoeing in Indiana

 3.1. What is the fee for canoeing in Indiana?

You must be sure of the fees and payments you have to make for a memorable trip.

3.2. What is the cost to register a boat in Indiana?

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles handles titling and registering boats operated in Indiana.
A ‘watercraft registration fee’ is charged when the boat is registered for the first time in Indiana and is charged each time the watercraft changes ownership.

Fee-Based on Length

  • 0′ to 12′ – $15.00
  • 13′ to 25′ – $18.00
  • 26′ to 39′ – $21.00
  • 40’ and more – $24.00

3.3. What is the difference between kayaking and canoeing?

Kayaking and canoeing are often used interchangeably by some people. This may cause some confusion in a paddler’s mind, although both sports are different due to the following reasons-

· Double-bladed paddles are used in kayaking. In Canoeing, single-bladed paddles are used. 
· In kayaking, one has to be seated, whereas canoeing requires you to kneel sometimes, and on Paddleboards, you have to stand up.
· Kayaks are considered easier to paddle and control than canoes.
· Kayak is also easier to learn and keep straight as paddles are on both sides.

· It’s easier to step in and out of a canoe; kayaks are comparatively tricky.

3.4. Is canoeing a safe sport?

Canoeing is not a hazardous sport. However, you can encounter a few dangers: sunburn, dehydration, severe weather, thunderstorms, heading into rapids without evaluating them, shoulder sprain from paddling, hypothermia, and drowning. 

3.5. How to make canoeing in Indiana more fun?

Canoeing itself is a fun activity; being on the calming river amidst the birds’ chirping and the roaring of the wind is already a fun package. But there are a few things you can do to make the trip memorable, like:

1. You can play a few games like-

  • I Spy One Person describes traits of a distant object; others have to guess it.
  • Scenery Sums– Count the number of frequently occurring things like certain trees, rocks, etc.
  • Tug of war This requires paddling to opposite sides of the river with the rafts tied together.
  • Canoe racing is also a great activity that you can enjoy.

 2. Go fishing.

 3. You might also enjoy setting up a beautiful camp in the forest area.

3.6. What to Wear While Canoeing In Indiana?

It’s advisable to wear quick-dry clothes, life jackets, and sweat-resistant clothes on canoe trips. It would be best to consider wearing old shoes as they are likely to get dirty.
Most importantly, do not forget the sunscreen.

3.7. What to pack for a canoe trip? Here’s your packing checklist!

Don’t forget these things when you are going canoeing in Indiana-

1. Signaling Device (whistle and flashlight)

2. Maps

3. First aid kit
4. Pocket knife
5. Sunscreen and sunglasses
6. Hat
7. Binoculars
8. Camera (if you want to shoot)
9. Fishing rod

10. Snacks and water bottle

4. End Note

I hope you have a lovely time canoeing in Indiana. However, everything good comes with risks. To fight any risk on your lovely trip, you can take these safety measures

1. Download/ Print/ Purchase the map of the water trails.
2. You can enjoy this activity alone. However, it is recommended to take someone with you for the first time. 
3. Do not stand or walk in your canoe, especially away from the shore.
4. Removing your life jacket might be dangerous. Never remove it, even for fun.
5. Overloading the canoe might cause problems.

6. A first aid kit is a must-have for canoeing in Indiana.

Canoeing in Indiana is even more enjoyable when you go on a day trip with your family and friends. Have fun, don’t forget to wear a mask, carry a sanitizer, and keep a distance from the people.

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Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by ayeshayusuf


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