We entered the West fork of the white river at the public access point northwest of Elnora, IN. There are signs on the highway. My wife and I put our 14ft Madriver canoe in and paddled up stream for about an hour. We saw several small turtles -- these were grey and sitting on sun-dried branches which were also grey. At first we missed them but had to look closer to notice them. We took several pictures. The Fall colors hadn't quite set in yet but it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We hoped to make a 2nd trip after the colors turned, but that did not happen. My wife posted the pictures on facebook and received several favorable comments.
We paddled past a settlement of cabins, trailers and campers. A couple of guys were grilling food and called out to us. We passed some large sand bars and kept pushing against the current. With our GPS we measured the current at 1.6 MPH. We came up to a shallow area with an island in the middle of the stream. We mistakenly chose the narrow channel and found the current too fast for us. We decided it was time to turn around and float back to our starting point and didn't pursue trying the other side of the island -- that will have to wait for another day.
We paddled / floated back to our starting point, took more pictures and had a very relaxing Sunday afternoon outing that we've talked about several times since that day.
We have scouted out other river access points and hope to arrange a group trip with drop off and pickup drivers.
The Elnora public ramp and parking lot is one of the nicest in the area -- the river bypasses the ramp which makes it easy to put the boat in without fighting with the current.
Turn off Hwy 58 and head north through downtown Elnora (pop 500), head north on Ellen or Raven st to to North st. Then west to CO 400 E (about 1/2 mi). Take 400E until it dead-ends at river ramp (about 2 mi). Road will turn from pavement to gravel to dirt (mud after a rain). Corn grows right up to the side of the road -- but push forward. The parking lot is gravel/paved with shade and a turn-around area.
Alan Mcpherson's "Paddle Indiana" lists several access points on the west fork of the white river in our area.
Another tool is Google Map Pedometer -- normally this provides walking distances but it can provide river distances by carefully tracing each leg of a river route from the area view.
Here's a link: www.trails.com/googlemap.aspx
River/Creek (Up to Class II)