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Indiana is a beautiful state filled with stunning scenery, creeks, rivers, lakes, and streams. With twenty-five state parks and ten state lakes in Indiana, what better way to explore than from the water? From waterways with historic bridges, through to rivers surrounded by sand dunes, we’ve rounded up the best places to go kayaking in Indiana. Grab your gear and get ready to explore:
1. Sugar Creek
One of the most popular water trails in Indiana is Sugar Creek. The creek, which is located in western Indiana, runs through the beautiful Turkey Run and Shades State Parks. The creek is incredibly peaceful and you can bring a packed lunch and stop-off at various sandbars during your kayaking journey. At the sandbars, you can hunt for shells, rocks, and fossils and relax before continuing your journey. Along the way, you’ll pass under four historic bridges that are worthy of a photo-stop. There are several companies operating in the creek where you can hire canoes or kayaks, with the most popular being Clements Canoe. There’s also a campground in Sugar Creek, where you can spend the night and feel at one with nature.
2. Blue River
The beautiful Blue River flows through one of the most scenic and diverse areas of Indiana, filled with caves and rural farmlands. Rent a kayak or canoe from Cave Country Canoes and go from Milltown to Rothrock Mill, a day trip that takes around five hours to complete. There are also picnic sites along the way with easy access. During the trip down the river, you’ll pass through rugged limestone cliffs and see plenty of wildlife, including great blue herons, turtles, deer, and otters.
3. Lake Michigan
In northern Indiana, you’ll find part of Lake Michigan, which is known to be one of the best places to go kayaking in Indiana. Head to Whihala Beach in Whiting, North Michigan, where you can relax on the river beach and launch your kayak. You can also visit the beaches of Indiana Dunes to paddle in a kayak and see miles of beautiful dunes along its waterways. The Indiana Dunes State Park, which lies to the south of Lake Michigan, is known for its affordable campsites if you’re planning a longer trip.
Cedar Lake is an enormous body of water that encompasses almost 800 acres, making it the largest natural lake in Northwest Indiana. There are parks, launch points, beaches and picnic areas dotted around the lake where you can spend the day slowly kayaking around, soaking in the beautiful views. There are tons of restaurants located around the lake and after a busy day of paddling, you can restore your energy levels at a pizza joint or an ice cream parlor.
Ten thousand years ago, the Kankakee River was a popular trade route and it’s lush lands surrounding the river made beautiful views for a water adventure. These views still exist today, and the river is known for its fun recreational activities, such as fishing and kayaking. Families and groups of friends come to relax on the water and spend time together as the river has got plenty of access routes to launch from. Happy kayaking!