Trip Report for South Fork of the Elkhart River in Indiana
Sunday, May 6, 2001

On this beautiful day we paddled approx. 8 miles from the bridge on River Road to Mallard Roost II (in a Wildlife Conservation Area at the bridge on CR 600 N, west of Albion, Indiana). The first couple of miles flow through Lloyd W. Bender Nature Preserve. While very beautiful through this area, it was also mosquito heaven and full of downed trees across the river. We counted 15 times we had to get out and pull out boats over or around such strainers. There were also almost as many times that we had to scoot our boats over or finagle our way through trees that didn't completely block our path.

The water was flowing at about 500 cfs, which was not terribly fast and was fine for us. I don't think you'd want to run the section through the Nature Preserve if the water was flowing very fast anyway. There are many tight turns, and so many strainers, that it would be dangerous. After the Nature Preserve, though, everything opens up and turns into marshy wetlands, with lilly pads lining the banks. This section was easy.

I was most impressed with the abundance of wildlife we saw. Of course we saw squirrels, herons, ducks, geese, and rolling and jumping fish. However, we also saw a dozen deer (2 swimming across the river), a beaver swimming across the river, 2 raccoons, a mink and 3 snakes.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

Outdoor Resources:
Other Information: - Indiana's Online Outdoor Recreation Guide