Best Canoeing in Indiana

Trying to find the best canoeing in Indiana? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


Illinois, Vermilion County

05 :44 hrs
12.9 mi
16.691284 ft

The section of the Middle Fork of the South Vermilion River between Kinney's Ford and Kickapoo State Park is one of the most popular paddling sites in all of Illinois due to its easy access, beautiful scenery, and steady flow creating lots of fun riffles and rapids. The river runs through wooded terrain with lots of rock cliffs and bluffs that create a beautiful setting. The run also ends in one of the most popular and beautiful state parks in the state, Kickapoo State Park, which provides multiple lakes and ponds that also provide excellent opportunity for paddling and wildlife viewing.


Indiana, Huntington County

06 :13 hrs
13.8 mi
15.714615 ft

Because of its size, this mapping includes only the east basin of it. Powerboats are allowed and hunting goes on during hunting season. Mosquitoes can be in abundance through the summer months. You may make the adventure on this lake hours or days long. With camping sites available, you may choose different locations each night.


Indiana, LaGrange County

01 :57 hrs
4.3 mi
1.8164673 ft

The DNR’s Division of Nature Preserves protects the entire Olin Lake and shoreline. Southeast of the small island there are markings for hiking trail #5. If you choose to go on that hike bring insect repellent. Boat ramp is at the Oliver Lake. Go through the channel on the southeast end to access Olin Lake.


Illinois, Kankakee

04 :40 hrs
10.4 mi
12.646835 ft

This stretch of the Kankakee River is the most popular for paddlers due to the clear waters, great fishing, and close proximity to Kankakee River State Park. The scenery on the Kankakee River includes rock cliffs and outcroppings, lots of green vegetation home to abundant wildlife, and multiple small islands. The river is very wide along this section and is usually floatable with the exception of seasons of low rainfall. There is some elevation drop over this run providing paddlers with some enjoyable riffles. There are a few alternate take-out areas along the way providing paddlers with good resting spots or take-out points for a shorter trip.


Illinois, Momence

05 :16 hrs
11.8 mi
6.99942 ft

This section of the Kankakee River is a little different from some of the other popular stretches of the river in that in travels through more developed areas of residential houses and roads as well as more motorboat traffic on the river. The scenery is still impressive, however, with lots of wooded shoreline and small river islands spread throughout providing natural scenery and opportunity for seeing wildlife. The gradient is pretty mild on this 11-mile stretch making the water ideal for paddlers of all skill levels. This section of river also provides really easy and convenient public access with good parking and picnic facilities.


Illinois, Champaign County

06 :20 hrs
14.1 mi
- ft

Starting just east of the Champaign County line, this stretch of the Salt Fork of the South Vermilion River travels for 14 miles along heavily wooded shoreline that provides lots of solitude and opportunity to enjoy nature and wildlife. The river has just enough flow to provide some fun riffles and current along the way but nothing too challenging. The river is prone to strainers and obstructions along this route so be sure to keep an eye out for possible spots that require portaging. The river does not provide a lot of access points but does have quite a few sandbar areas that can be used as good resting spots. The decent flow on the river and possible obstructions can make the canoe trip a bit more challenging so some paddling experience is recommended before setting out.


Illinois, Kankakee County

04 :12 hrs
9.3 mi
3.5355072 ft

Starting just east of the Illinois/Indiana border, this section of the Kankakee River flows into Illinois through wetland and bottomland forest that provides excellent wilderness scenery and lots of opportunity for wildlife viewing and birdwatching. Due to the very rugged and wild nature of the terrain there can often be downed trees and other obstructions that can present some challenge. The elevation change is very mild along this portion so the waters are flat and calm for paddlers of all skill levels. The river can be paddled for more miles in both directions and there are also multiple access points along this route providing paddlers with good resting spots and alternate take-out points.


Illinois, Vermilion County

04 :27 hrs
10 mi
10.812592 ft

Paddlers exploring the section of the Salt Fork of the South Vermilion between Chainy Ford Bridge and Anderson Hill Bridge will enjoy a variety of scenery which includes tall sandstone cliffs, wooded islands, lots of sandbars, a scenic suspension bridge, and more. The river along this route has few structures and lots of wooded terrain that provides good opportunity for viewing lots of diverse plantlife and wildlife. The river does offers some fun riffles and is very wide with minimal obstructions making it a steady, swift float.


Indiana, Indianapolis

05 :39 hrs
12.6 mi
3.8276367 ft

In this Park, you will find the Waterfowl Sanctuary. Boating is prohibited in the Sanctuary, only paddleboats are allowed around it. Be prepared to share the lake with electric powerboats. You will also find hiking trails, playgrounds, fishing ponds and picnicking areas. Entrance and launching fees are charged.


Illinois, Joliet

00 :46 hrs
1.7 mi
3.3574371 ft

Monee Reservoir is a 46-acre lake that is part of the Rock Creek preservation system and is surrounded by wetland and woodland habitat that is home to abundant wildlife and plant species. The lake offers a visitor center and small boat launch for non-motorized boats. There is no motorized boating allowed on the small lake making the waters peaceful and calm for paddling and spotting wildlife. A launch pass is required for accessing the lake and can be purchased from the visitor center. There are also kayak and canoe rentals available at the reservoir.

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