St. Joseph River South Bend to Niles

by  Browns501

A self-supported trip created by Browns501

Trip Overview

We put our canoe and two kayaks in at Keller Park Landing. The river is wide and deep (at least 5' deep) in it's entirety. The water moves relatively fast between Keller Park and St. Patrick's Park. We made it to St. Pat's Park in a little over an hour with occasional rowing to stay in the faster moving water (we were trying to make up some time due to incoming rain). From St. Patrick's Park to Niles Dam the river moves slowly and the closer you get to the Niles dam the slower the water moves (if at all). Total trip time was about 4 hours (with nearly constant rowing from the State Line to Niles Dam (to beat incoming weather). Plan for 4-1/2 to 5 hours if you just enjoy floating and not rowing.

We saw plenty of wildlife, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Snapping Turtles, and even a deer up near Niles.

The river was simple to navigate, very few snags, lots of room to choose a safe path around weeds. The Niles Dam is clearly marked with buoys, a cable, and signs.

One downside would be a slight sewage odor once we passed the South Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. The smell pretty much stuck around from the Treatment Plant to Niles Dam.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 8/13/2022
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddling, Kayak Fishing, Rafting, Hiking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location