Tippecanoe River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Day Trip Report
Submitted by: jw61
I launched at the Monterey City Park boat launch, paddling solo. (Years ago, Monterey was a very popular canoeing town with a livery, campsites, cabins, etc. These days, activity is pretty slow.) It's about 15 miles to Tippecanoe River State Park. Even with low rainfall, there was enough water to float the whole way. About one mile downstream from Monterey, both sides of a small island were blocked by fallen trees, so I had to clamber/portgage about 25 yards after stupidly failing to avoid the port strainer. The only other blockade issues were about 100 yards above the takeout at the state park. I had to slalom through three or four shallow chutes or tunnels made, again, by downed trees, not the easiest thing in a 17-1/2 foot canoe with zero rocker.
Other than that, the trip was pretty, pleasant, and uneventful. There are some twists and turns and a lot of smooth water. Saw a lot of smallmouth bass, a red horse sucker the size of a small hippo, bunches of kingfishers and woodpeckers, what appeared to be an osprey, lots of vultures and hawks, several whitetail deer, an otter--no kidding--and more Great Blue Herons than I have ever seen on one 15 mile stretch of any river in the United States. Just above the park, there appears to be a fair sized GBH rookery, too. This is a great trip for a birder--which I'm not--or anyone who just wants a relaxing trip. I'll do it again in the autumn after the leaves change and it cools down a bit.
The State Park has what appeared to be some great primitive camping available, although I didn't take advantage of it.
$4.00 fee to takeout (or put in) at Tippecanoe State Park.
Take Indiana 17 South out of Culver, Indiana, about five miles, to Indiana 110. Turn west and follow the signs--about three miles--to Monterey.
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