This is as pretty a stretch of river as we have ever been on. The first thing you notice is the amazing clarity of the water. The river is fed by 40 morainal lakes, and it's banks are lined by numerous marshes. The result is amazingly clear water.
The stream meanders between banks lined with white oaks, hickory, elm, and marsh willow. You will often have a tree lined bank on one side, with a marsh on the other. A large variety of birds and wild life are seen. The marshes were full of Red Winged Blackbirds and Swifts. We saw deer and a large number of Great Blue Herons. The highlight of the day was coming within 20 yds of a pair of Sandhill Cranes.
For most of this trip you are amazingly secluded. And though the sounds of the indiana Toll Rd and SR 9 disturb the tranquility of the last couple of miles, they do little to distract from the sheer beauty of this stretch of river.
There were no pullovers or portages on this trip, making it an excellent trip for beginning canoeists or kayakers. Travel time about 4 hours steady paddling.
It is just very difficult to describe how really pretty this stretch of river is. It is an under utilized gem!
Motels at Sturgis MI and Howe IN.
State and private campgrounds Howe IN, Mongo IN, Shishewana IN
Put in: M-66/IN-9 to south side of Sturgis MI. East on Fawn River Rd. to T. North about 50 ys to bridge. Put in on southwest side. Ample parking.
Take out: M-66/IN-9 to CR 700 (first rd south of IN Toll Rd.), West approx 1 mile. Take out on south bank of river. Ample parking.
Indiana and Michigan Gazeteers, Mapquest.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)