Trails in Indiana

Deer Creek Water Trail



It is about 10.5 river miles from take out to putin. There are several bridges that can be used to shorten the trip. It is run above Camden at times, but it takes higher water, and there will be more log jams. You can leave a car or two at the end of the guard rail on SR75, but it is best to ask permission before doing so. The takeout is safe, easy, and legal.

This is the pertinent gage for Deer Cr. It is located downstream of most of the river, so the numbers may appear artificially high. I would not want to paddle here much under 200 CFS.

It is too low to paddle for much of the Summer. But when it does run, the bluffs and small waterfalls that trickle into Deer Cr. make the trip special. Knowledgeable Hoosier paddlers generally rank Deer Cr. as one of their favorite, it is one of the prettiest rivers in Indiana when it flows. It requires some maneuvering skill in moving water at lower levels. At higher levels, there are some waves to surf. It is not one of the toughest places to paddle in Indiana, but neither does it let you pass until you show off some of your boat handling skill.

Shuttle is straight forward, however long waits for the train crossing on SR218 are common. If you get caught by a train, consider CR 300 (on the South side of the river valley) as an alternative that misses the train crossing.

On the day we last ran it (6/22/2013) there were two significant portage points. One was a downed tree, the other was a construction site for the new SR25 bypass. Neither were particularly tough. Either one may disappear at some time. Deer Cr. is remarkably clear of log jams at most times, due to the shale rock formations and narrow width of the river.

-Dan Valleskey


Type of Trail: 
Water Trail