The Best Places to Canoe and Kayak in Indiana

Indiana is a state of many adventures. If you’re the outdoorsy type, get out there and explore Indiana’s great outdoors this summer. Between cookouts, pool days, and concerts, make your way out to one of these beautiful bodies of water to do some canoeing and kayaking. 

Lake Monroe: Let’s just start with the obvious. Indiana’s largest lake is home to incredibly beautiful scenery, wildlife, and natural resources. It’s a perfect place to take the family for a canoeing, hiking, or an entire camping trip. Check out Most High Adventure Outfitters for rentals of almost anything you could need. If you go to the Paynetown State Recreation Area just south of Bloomington, you can rent canoes, kayaks, and other watercrafts from Lake Monroe Boat Rental.

Tippecanoe River: See some of our state’s beautiful indigenous birds as you glide down the gentle Tippecanoe River, flowing from Noble County to the Wabash River. Fishermen, bring your poles; there is a lot of great fishing along some of the grassy banks. The water is so clear you might even see some fish as you paddle along!

Cedar Creek: Check out cedar creek for a shorter, yet potentially more intense trip. You’ll encounter some nice rapids along the way as well as tree-filled alleys and difficult twists and turns. Cedar Creek is considered one of Indiana’s Natural, Scenic, and Recreational River System—that means it has such wonderful natural resources that it is protected and preserved by the state. This 32-mile long creek is a great place to go and disconnect from your everyday distractions. It’s just you and the water!

Falls of the Ohio: Rich in history and wildlife, the Falls of the Ohio is great place to visit in the late summer and fall. Discover 390 million year-old fossil beds and the home site of the George Rogers Clark cabin. Be sure to check in advance and go when the dam is closed for more casual paddling. This is a unique place to visit because it is bursting with wildlife and history but also provides a beautiful view of downtown Louisville. The best place to enter is in Clarksville, Indiana at one of the many boat ramps.

Whitewater River: Go on a guided canoe trip of the swift and scenic Whitewater River. It’s not actually white water but there are some rapids. Whitewater Canoe Rental offers a wide selection of guided trips ranging in difficulty and length. The Whitewater Valley was the first place in Indiana to be settled.

Big Pine Creek: Melting ice and spring rain bring exhilarating whitewater rapids to Big Pine Creek in late spring and early summer. One of the only places to get a real whitewater paddling experience in our state, this destination is best for experienced kayakers and canoeists. You’ll have to bring your own gear and be prepared for a fun adventure when you arrive. There are multiple access points at the Rainsville and Twin Bridges.

These are just some of our favorite places to canoe and kayak in Indiana—but there are many, many more! With such a great selection of waterways to explore, we hope you’ll get out there and paddle. Get your life jackets on, apply your sunscreen, and paddle away into Indiana’s beautiful scenery. 


Where are some of your favorite places to canoe/kayak in Indiana?