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Blue River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Weekend Trip Report
Trip Dates: April 2005
Nearest City: Milltown, IN, USA
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: Bonneville

Description:

We try to paddle the Blue every Spring when the water's running good. Also, it's less crowded. Since thunderstorms, hail and snow were forecast on this weekend, crowds would not be a problem on the river or in the campground. Water is hardly ever a problem anyway, since the river is spring-fed. This, and a limestone bed, make this a fairly clear river. We camped at Stagestop Campground, part of the Wyandotte Cave complex near Corydon. It's a primitive facility with many sites on the river.

We began the weekend with 16 paddlers and ended with nine (did I mention the hail and snow?). Fortunately, most of the bad weather was Friday night, hitting after we had most of the tents up.

Saturday morning, we put in at Rothrock Mill for the ten-mile run. Just below the put-in, there are the remains of a low dam. Various sources disagree on whether or not you can run it. We did with no problem. Most of this stretch of river is fairly docile, but there are a few good drops. The flow hustled us along pretty well and we took out practically right next to our campsite at Stagestop. There are other take-outs in that area you can use. Saturday night, we drove up to Milltown to enjoy the Blue River Cafe. The food and entertainment are excellent, but call for reservations or email their website.

Sunday morning greeted us with a frost, but clear, blue skies. We had saved the best for last, a 13-mile run from Milltown to Rothrock Mill. This segment has the best rapids (class I) on the river and many of the limestone bluffs. You can see a number of cave entrances and even scramble up to the mouth of Old Indian Cave, about three quarters of the way through the trip. The sun brought out a host of turtles and other wildlife. You could see the fish darting under your boat in the clear water. An old iron bridge signals you that the takeout is coming up on river left. There's little development along the Blue and it can be very scenic in places. A great place to paddle away a weekend.

Accommodations:

There are numerous facilities in the area, thanks to the draw of Wyandotte Cave.

Outfitting:

We used a variety of kayaks and canoes. Almost any configuration will suffice, but the optimum kayak for this is about 14'.

Fees:

None.

Directions:

From Louisville, KY, take I-64 west to Indiana 64 west to Milltown. Or, stay on I-64 to the Corydon exit, depending upon what section you intend to run.

Resources:

www.indianoutfitters.com has some good information.


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