your paddlesports destination

Driftwood River in Indiana

Trip Overview

Looking for a different place to paddle we decided to give the Driftwood river a try for our weekly evening paddle. We launched from the ramp just the bridge on Lowell road and headed downstream 5.5 miles to the take out at Mills Race Park in Columbus IN. The gauge reading on the White River just south of our take out was at a seasonable normal around .75'.

We launched around 6:30 in the evening hoping to do some fishing for small mouths along the way. We had 3 single seat Pelican kayaks, one 10 footer and 2 14 footers, and one Pelican Flow 10.6 stand up paddleboard on this trip. We caught a nice smallie on the first cast just south of the put in so we were all liking the river from the start. There was a nice current to help move us along starting off with scattered areas of riffles and water moving at a faster rate. Cindy on the paddleboard did an awesome job of maneuvering the rougher water and was having a blast. We continued to fish on and off where ever we thought a small mouth might be lurking. We saw 3 young eagle that had yet to get their white tails and heads as we paddled south. They were still quite large birds and really talked to us they took flight.

The river was at a really nice height to kayak down and the current kept us moving along at a nice clip till about half way between the I65 bridge and the take out. From that point to the take out the water started to slow down and back up from the dam that is just south of the take out.

We reached the take out just before dark after about 3 hours of paddling and fishing. There is a nice boat launching ramp at Mills Race Park where we took out and ample parking for a recovery vehicle.

We can't wait to go back when we have more time to fish as we had to pass up many spots we all wished we could have explored for the large small mouth the river is known for.


No DNR launch permit is required to paddle this river and Mills Race park is a public city park with no fees to use their ramp. You will need a state fishing license if you plan on fishing on this trip.


From Columbus take hwy 11 north to Lowell road and go west. The put in location is just south of the bridge over the Driftwood river on Lowell road at a DNR access site. The take out is at the boat launching ramp inside of Mill Race Park on the west side of downtown Columbus off of 2nd street.


You can clearly see the launch and take out ramps on Google Earth.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip