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East Fork, White River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: August 2012
Nearest City: Columbus, IN
Difficulty: Moderate


The East Fork of the White River is a great place for beginners who want to make a day of it. There are a few places for rapids, but not many on this 13-mile trip.

My buddy and I started out in a little town called Azalia. It is south of Columbus. There is a public access site off 800 S, which connects Highway 11 and 31. Can't miss it.

The trip begins slow, but you are introduced to a few rapids a few miles in. I'm not sure about normally, but 2012 was a terrible drought, which made all rivers really slow. We never had to get out, though and push our boats across rocks or anything though.

There is plenty wildlife to look at. We noticed on one trip an eagle, and plenty of wild birds. Have seen several small snakes but nothing harmful. Downed trees was not an issue except on about mile 2 or 3. You will come to a fork in the river where the main section of the river is blocked, and you must go around. This part can be dangerous as my friend and I tried to go this way and here there were rapids pushing us towards the blocked wall. Luckily we were strong enough to go up river slightly in the rapids and go the other way around but if you knew ahead of time (paying attention!) you will know which way to go (will be obvious).

You will know when you are about halfway when you go under interstate 65 bridge. You will be 2/3's the way there when you get to the 31 bridge and will have about a mile left after the railroad track bridge. There are many houses on the route. We saw cows under interstate 65 bridge. They were very stubborn and would not get out of the river and we were just within feet from them. Funny experience!

We never saw anyone else kayaking/canoeing and you will work up a sweat paddling this section of the East Fork River, but we went nonstop. Bring plenty of water and maybe a snack. Enjoy the trip!


Public Access Sites in Rockford and Azalia are large spots to park. Easy to find. Find a tree if you gotta pee.


No fees, unless you "tip" the river and lose your wallet. Get it?


My buddy and I started out in a little town called Azalia. It is south of Columbus. There is a public access site off 800 S, which connects Highway 11 and 31. Can't miss it. Takeout is in Rockford. It is off of highway 11 near a small hillbilly looking campground. You will know when you are near because there is a lot of docks from small trailers near the river that make you want to sing "redneck yacht club". The ramp will be on your left when you are on the river. Go to google maps and find directions. To get back to your start point just get on 11 and go north. Turn right on 800 S about 14 miles and your back to your put-in spot.


Don't need a map but you can Google Azalia, IN, and then Rockford, IN and just follow the river up to study it before your trip.

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