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Wabash River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: May 2005
Nearest City: Bluffton, IN, USA
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: D.P. Shively

Description:

If someone tries to tell you the Wabash is impassable above the Huntington dam, do NOT believe them:

On May 1, 2005 five hardy souls met with the intention of kayaking the Wabash from Linn Grove to Bluffton.

The put-in was a county park just east of the bridge in Linn Grove, and the shoreline was silted-up pretty well with the remains of the spring runoff--the sort of clay that, when wet, forms a clod around your foot the size of a basketball after two steps. After several days of sunshine, it will likely harden to the consistency of concrete. Once you get past the mud and on the water, the river here is better than thirty feet wide, and plenty deep, with a noticeable current that supplements nicely the paddlers' efforts.

The gradually-widening river winds through mostly farmland for the next twelve-to-fifteen miles, making for a very decent paddle.

No major snags, no portages necessary; there are a few points where fallen trees narrow (and accelerate!) the current enough to concentrate one's attention and, in one instance, convert a paddler into a swimmer.

When you see the grounds of Ouabache State Park on either side of the river, you are close to the end of your run.

The takeout for this run is at the Indiana 1 bridge in Bluffton, with gravel/asphalt/concrete at the bank, i.e. NO MUD!

Including a half-hour lunch break, I estimate we were on the river between three and four hours. A pleasant, not-too-demanding paddle.

Fees:

None.

Directions:

Interstate 69 to the IN-224 (Markle) exit, east 1/10 mile and then right on IN-116; stay on IN-116 all the way through Markle and Bluffton to Linn Grove.


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