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Eel River in Indiana

Trip Overview

Bear Grass (St Rd 15) to Chili

We dropped in at the bridge on state road 15 (Bear Grass) - about 5 to 10 minutes northeast of Roann. We paddled about an hour and reached Stockdale. Here you must portage around the dam at the mill. Stay left and be careful not to miss the take out point (a paved boat ramp) which is easy to miss if the weeds are grown up. It is not recommended to paddle through the dam. A man was killed doing that a few years ago. There is a large device under the water's surface that grinds up branches and is highly dangerous. After a short walk you can easily drop back in just after the dam.

We floated another 2 to 2 1/2 hours, passing under Butler Bridge and then Zinn Bridge and then finally reaching the small town of Chili. There aren't any public access points here, but we have friends who allowed us to pass through their property.

Total paddling time was about 3 1/2 hours. However, the river was very high & fast flowing due to so much rainfall. Although the view was scenic and mostly primitive, there was little wildlife. But that might have been due to the time of day (afternoon). The river is lined with fields and trees the entire way.


Primitive, several river islands (even large ones)


  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip