Iroquois River in Indiana

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The verbiage below was supplied by Indiana DNR's Canoe Guide. The information was last updated at least 16 years ago. Put-in points have disappeared and new ones have formed.

It is very important that you submit any trip reports that you have and include what the put-in and take out points look like. With your help we can build a new and improved Indiana Canoe Guide. We will revise the information below as new information presents itself.


If you have a favorite river, chances are that you know it best. You can adopt a river for this site, then write about it and describe the put-in points. You will get full credit and you will be doing ALL Hoosiers a big favor.

A web viewer reports the following information on the Iroquois river:

I camp very close to the gauging station in Rensselaer, maybe a mile as the river winds. The stretch of river I'm familiar with does not have rapids per se, but a lot of downed timber. Motoring in my opinion is out of the question especially in low water. There are also a few deeper holes. There are two places that I'm aware of where rock, similar in size and shape as you find on train tracks, was placed across the stream for horse crossings years ago, but even those "humps" are a couple feet deep at the lowest water levels. Unless you notice the rocks going up both banks during low water, you'd never know they were there. The trails have long since grown over. On occasion, I've seen it when timber blocked the entire river and you have to portage around it. I think this happened two different years in the 17 that I've been going down there. Standing waves are not an issue, the current, at least in the stretch I frequent, won't support them. The grade is very low, about a 1/2" per mile. I've never seen the river itself, outside of down timber, ever be impassable to a canoe, but canoeing upstream in very high water dragging a minnow bucket behind you can be labor some.

The lowest gage level I have on record from Jan 1 1988 to today is 3.01 feet, the highest 24.86 feet. A typical year will have about 14 feet of "swing" from lowest to highest levels, and you don't need a week of heavy rain to get it going. When compared to other rivers in the area (White, Tippecanoe, Kankakee - my home river, Calumet and some smaller streams), the Iroquois water level is unusually volatile, which keeps the fishing interesting, or not.

The Iroquois is a slow, winding, lazy river, which in large part was by-passed by the settlers and developers who pushed progress into Indiana. The muddy waters flow approximately 94 miles through rich farmland which was once swampland and was untouched by pioneers until as late as 1850. Today the area has been extensively drained and the Iroquois flows through prairies and narrow woodlands passing a few cabins as it twists westward into Illinois.

The river is very shallow and slow-moving, dropping only inches per mile. It is usually canoeable year round from east of Brook, Indiana and continuing to the state line, a trip of approximately 16 miles, lasting about seven hours. The banks are pocketed with swamp milkweed and swamp rose mallow, oak, hickory, walnut, cottonwood, willow and ash. The canoeist can chance upon squirrels, raccoon, chipmunks, ducks and turtles and can fish for carp and catfish around the drifts or smallmouth bass and panfish downstream.

We recommend putting in at the State Road 16 bridge, two miles east of Brook, Indiana. Parking is available at a small rest area on the west side of the bridge. The bank at the northwest corner of the bridge is steep but footing is good along the 50-yard trek to the water. A small picnic area and access point is located on the north side of the Iroquois just before the first bridge. Watch for log jams before the second bridge and slightly beyond. Throughout the trip there no dams, but one can expect to encounter these infrequent log jams or pullovers. An additional access site on the left side at County Road 450 West is difficult but can be used in the event of an emergency.

The take-out site is at the state line bridge. The bridge is washed out over the river and unapproachable by car from the north, but on the south there is room to park and turn around. The bank on the southwest corner of the bridge is steep but passable with a climb of 50 yards to the road. From the put-in site your car shuttle should drive west on State Road 16 to Highway 41 then turn south. Across the Iroquois, turn right on the first road, County Road 1250 S. Go west about 5 1/2 miles to the state line then turn right 1/2 mile to the river.

Camping and recreation facilities are located at Tippecanoe River State Park. Hunting, fishing, bird and animal watching, and camping opportunities are available at Willow Slough State Fish and Wildlife Area near Morocco, Indiana on State Highway 41, about twelve miles north of the take-out site. For emergencies George Ade Hospital is located within 300 yards of the put-in site on State Road 16.


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