I listed this as a day trip but we actually took our camping gear and spent one night out. We saw many more kayaks than canoes and this trip and could be done in a day by good paddlers. We went about 8-9 miles each day. Our goal was to scout campsites between the Crooked Creek ramp and the Paynetown area of Monroe.
It was a fairly quiet trip most of the way with just a few fishermen and other paddlers occasionally encountered. Of course as you get closer to the Paynetown area, traffic really picks up. On the way in and out we saw eagles and on the way out we viewed what looked to me to be 2 juveniles perched on a log right at water's level. Heron are seen regularly and in abundance. Weather was beautiful and I think that really brought the people out.
We ended up camping on the peninsula east of the Paynetown area and this is where a lot of backpackers from the Fire Tower / Sycamore area hike down from. Nice rocky beach along the west side of this area. Lots of campers and I couldn't help wondering how people got any bathroom privacy. Luckily we got the northern most site and had a lot of area to ourselves. This was a nice spot where you could set up a number of tents.
There were a number of 5 star sites on the way in, especially along the north side of the Middlefork Wetland area.
I would caution boaters that for canoes and kayaks, check current water levels. Our trip was at 537.9 Normal pool is about 538. At 537 it might be a bit challenging to get a fully loaded canoe through the Crooked Creek area. Certain stretches today before you get into the main body of the lake were less than a foot deep.
This is a beautiful area to paddle and it's too bad this area is closed after the middle of October. Trees and weather would be great at that time of year.