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Mississinewa River in Indiana

Trip Overview

I was meeting a friend who was driving from Pittsburgh, and I was driving from Milwaukee, so we didn't want to end up on a river that was so low that we had to walk our kayaks most of the way! So we gave it our best shot and decided to try the Mississinewa River.

It was low, in fact many of the locals told us they hadn't seen it that low for a long time, but in fact, it was still runnable, for single kayaks anyway. We talked to some folks in canoes and they ended their trip early, being too tired dragging their canoe through the shoals.

The river provided a slow but pleasant trip through a wooded corridor with pockets of heavier woodlands. For birders (myself included) a nearly non-stop show of birds to see and hear. I was disappointed that I couldn't spot the Pileated Woodpecker that I heard to show my friend, but we enjoyed many overflights from Great Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Swallows, Kingbirds, Red-tailed Hawks and Vireos. We also loved seeing 2 Bald Eagles at very close range, and my friend quietly paddling directly under a Great Horned owl hunting from an overhanging branch.

We also enjoyed the "Seven Pillars", limestone(I think) cliffs that bordered river right, a few miles downstream from the dam.

Overall the trip is best suited for day touring type kayaks. I was in a Manitou (13ft) and my friend was able to easily keep up in his keowee(9'6"), he just had to paddle a little harder.

We probably won't go back for a while but its nice to know that even when the condition are really dry, one can still go kayaking on the Mississinewa.

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

Locations on this Trip