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Elkhart River

by  kappurple

A self-supported trip created by kappurple

Trip Overview

I started from Shanklin Park in Goshen. This is a good place to start because they have a ramp and plenty of parking. It's located just south of downtown Goshen on Plymouth Ave, about .25 miles west of SR15. Shanklin is downriver from Goshen dam. The river moves at a slow pace and is pretty smooth. There's good tree coverage on both sides so you're not always in direct sun except for when it's directly overhead. There usually aren't too many obstacles between Goshen and Elkhart. There is the occasional downed tree and submerged log but nothing that couldn't be easily maneuvered around. The scenery is nice and varies between woods, homes and finally the downtown riverwalk area when you reach Elkhart. Passing through the wooded areas you'll see a lot of wildlife including deer. After Shanklin there are many places to rest such as Ox Bow and Studebaker parks. Elkhart recently removed the low dam from the downtown area so you no longer have to portage there, but it was replaced by a series of boulders to slow the flow of the water. The flow does speed up here and I can easily see someone getting flipped by hitting one of the boulders. I've only been through it once so I can't recommend a safe passage through it. If you're inexperienced, you might still want to portage around the area. The Elkhart river flows into the St Joe in Elkhart and there isn't a great place to exit at that point. Once you hit the St.Joe, on your right is a fitness center and you'd have to walk quite a ways to the parking lot. The current in the St.Joe was very strong so I wasn't able to upstream very far. I wound up exiting on Island park on my left. My wife is picking me up so she helped me carry it to the car. The trip from Shanklin in Goshen to Island Park in Elkhart registered as 19 miles and took 5 hours. I'd say I was paddling at a moderate level. If you just want to float with the current it might take all day.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 6/6/2020
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location