This 5-6 hour solo trip on a maze of remote, scenic waterways was real surprise. In the 60's, the creek was dammed several miles downstream creating the huge Lake Monroe. At the north end of the lake, several branches of the original creek are filled with backwater from the lake creating a paddling paradise.
I paddled down the main branch of the creek from the put-in point, 4 miles from Story. When I reached a confluence with another branch I headed back upstream along an awesome rock bluff. It is possible to paddle along down into the Middle Fork of lake Monroe which is several miles downstream from the confluence point. Once in the lake, there are several other backwater creeks that could be explored for days.
My trip was in early spring and the bright green leaves and flowering trees were stunning. Brown County hardwood forests are known for their spectacular fall colors and I can't imagine that there would be a better way to see it than in a canoe in this Salt Creek backwater. I'm coming back for sure.
The area has lots of wildlife. I saw blue herons, hawks, beavers, and plenty of deer. I was told that eagles can be spotted along the bluff I passed during my trip.
I rented a canoe for this trip and the outfitter told me that all of the land is government owned so you can camp anywhere along the way if you want to make an overnight trip.
Despite its beauty, Salt Creek is obviously not very well known as most visitors to Brown County are there for the shops in Nashville and the state park which is great for hiking. I didnt see or hear a soul the whole time I was paddling. If you looking for some secluded paddling where the only unnatural sound that you likely to hear is an occasional airplane passing high overhead, check out this backwater area on the Salt Creek.
Oh and stop at the quaint Story Inn on the way out for a beer or surprisingly good dinner.
You can rent a room or a cottage at the Story Inn.
You can rent canoe at Brown County Wilderness Canoe Rental.
The only fee would be for an Indiana fishing license if you plan to fish. I didn't but there are supposed to be lot of bass in the creeks.
Get to Nashville Indiana, the heart of Brown County, on SR 426. From there, take SR 135 to Story. Go straight through Story following the "canoe rental" signs. You'll end up on a gravel road the ends at a T. The canoe rental place is to the left. If you've got your own canoe, turn right and a canoe launch on government property is about a mile down the road. You can leave your car there.
The canoe rental provided a good map of the area. I recommend talking to them about getting one even if you don't rent a canoe as there are several choice points where the waterways connect. If you go down by the big lake, you could easily get lost.