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Whitewater River in Indiana

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

We (me, my accomplice Dan, his son Ben and daughter Amanda) survived about twenty-four miles of the Whitewater River yesterday, and I advise anyone interested of the following:

1. The description of the Laurel-to-Metamora run on the Indiana Outfitters website says a "7-mile, 3-hour float to Metamora." At the water levels yesterday (and they are relatively low), it's a seventy-minute float, NOT three hours, and we weren't pushing the pace at all, but just keeping enough speed to steer (this river does most of the work for you). Fairly quick current, lots of birds, etc., and a fun run, but a bit short.

2. Said Indiana Outfitters guide said to Brookville would be "another 10 miles and approximately 3 hours on the river." Uh, try another 17+ miles and ALL of three hours at yesterday's levels. Again, a very enjoyable run, though quite long, especially when you think you're going ten miles, and had just done seven miles in seventy minutes.

The original plan was to paddle just from Laurel to Metamora, but when we put in at 8:20 and were at Metamora by 9:30, we agreed to go the additional "ten miles" (we thought) to Brookville, figuring it would take us at most another hour-and-a-half to two hours, and we'd pay someone to take us back to my vehicle in Metamora.

Ten miles. Right. Shucks, it's 15 miles by highway, which I should have known, since I've driven that stretch twice a month for over two years, now, but it's not a fact I ever deemed important enough to retain. Until yesterday.

Needless to say, I was two hours late for a meeting; I believe I have been forgiven. My accomplice, Dan, had a seriously "pooped" nine-year-old bow paddler in his canoe, and a fresh-as-a-daisy four-year-old, who reportedly slept whenever she got bored.

NO REGRETS: The river was every bit as enjoyable as I remembered it from twenty-five years ago, and even at the current level, is fast enough you won't be bored no matter what your level of experience. Inexperienced paddlers might take an occasional swim, but this river is fun enough they'll enjoy it. Serious consideration should be given to getting together a group and doing an all-day trip, or even overnight: both outfitters in the area offer camping, and there are other private camping facilities available. I heartily recommend this river (AND the place; it's reminding me more and more of Brown County, only with a decent paddling river running through it).


No, unless you use a private outfitter for parking, takeout location, or shuttle

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location