Lake Monroe and Salt Creek Excursions
Lake Monroe Paddling
There are three major areas of Lake Monroe that are idle speed only and provide fantastic canoeing and kayaking.Pine Grove, Moore’s Creek, and Ramp Creek. All provide calm waters (no power boat wake), great fishing, picnicking and, best of all, great swimming on rocky shorelines in clean water of Moore’s Creek and Ramp Creek.
The Moore’s Creek area of Lake Monroe is a water playground for kayaking, swimming, picnicking, fishing, and relaxing. We call this our “chillin” trip. On a hot summer day, or night, nothnig beats kayaking and swimming in the Moore’s Creek area. There is a bald eagle’s nest nearby, and in the summer the catfish are easy to catch.
Moore’s Creek is especially close to Bloomington. Kayaks are best for this trip, and there is, also, a picnic area at the parking lot. This is a family favorite summer fun trip!
Upper North Fork Salt Creek – Backstream of Lake Monroe
Lake Monroe is Indiana’s largest lake with over 10,750 surface areas of reservoir. This does not include the fantastic Salt Creek upstream and downstream of the lake. NF Salt Creek upstream of Lake Monroe provides wild backwater paddling with low current, fantastic fishing and abundant wildlife. All of this within 20 minutes of Bloomington or 20 minutes from Brown County State Park.
This is arguably, the best wild backwaters in Indiana for wildlife viewing. There is a bald eagle nest along the NF of Salt Creek, and the eagles will generally pose for a photo op. Our trips here range from a minimum of 4 hours to overnight trips to paddle from the Monroe County line to the Pine Grove launch ramp at Lake Monroe. Longer trips of 6 hours or more are encouraged so you can see more of the backwaters of Lake Monroe.
Middle Fork Salt Creek
The Middle Fork of Salt Creek trip starts in Brown County and traverses the Middle Fork Waterfowl Resting Area and along the shoreline of the Deam Wilderness area of Hoosier National Forest.
This is one of the best places in Indiana to spot bald eagles and other wildlife. In a nutshell, this area is simply beautiful and a magical place to paddle, March through December. For a real wilderness experience this trip is among the best in Indiana.
The launch site is the Crooked Creek Launch Ramp, and if it is not windy, the take-out is Pine Grove Launch Ramp in Monroe County. When the wind is stiff the take out is back at the Crooked Creek Launch Ramp. This is a 5-6 hour trip.
Lower Salt Creek – Below Monroe Dam
This is the “cool” trip because cold water is being released from the bottom of Lake Monroe in the summer. In the summer it feels like the air conditioning is on. The average trip length is 3 hours to the Logan Guthrie bottoms. A pair of bald eagles has been nesting about 4 miles downstream of the dam for several years now. They generally make themselves available for photos as you silently glide beneath them.
The fishery includes Kentucky spotted bass, sauger, walleye, wipers, sunfish, crappies, white bass, yellow bass, and catfish. Something is always biting in lower Salt Creek. This trip is subject to closure due to the occurrence of log jams along the creek in lower flow conditions