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Wells County Kayaking

Wells County, Indiana is home to a growing kayaking community.  We are blessed with having two great rivers running through our area.  The Wabash River and Salamonie River provide excellent opportunities for kayaking and experiencing nature.  We also have Kunkel Lake in the Ouabache State Park, which is a kayak-friendly public lake with kayak rental opportunities.  This page highlights what is in place today for accessing our local rivers and what we are working towards in the future.

Our Kayaking Community

Wells County Trails is actively working to expand and promote accessibility to our rivers.  We are fortunate to have the Bluffton Parks Department and the Bluffton Kayak and Hiking Club have been actively working to help promote our local and regional kayaking opportunities. 

Where to Kayak

Kunkel Lake - Ouabache State Park

Launch Type: Imrpoved Concrete Ramp

Parking: located across the road from the boat launch ramp.

Wabash River

The Wabash River is a slow-flowing river that runs through rural Adams and Wells Counties.  It runs through the heart of the City of Bluffton.  It is known for its natural beauty and wildlife as it weaves its way through forested wetlands, Ouabache State Park, Banks of the Wabash Nature Preserve, and the J. Edwards Roush Lake Fish and Wildlife Area.

Wabash River Level / Flow Data: National Weather Service Flood Gauge

The ideal river height for kayaking is between 1.5 feet and 3 feet.  Always make smart decisions before entering the river and know your abilities.  Always wear your life vest.  It is best to travel in a group.  High water adds a significant amount of flow and debris to the river and can make obstacles more hazardous.  Never enter the river during Action or Flood Stages.  Low water levels will allow you to go slower but will require you to get out of the kayak to pass through shallow sections.  

Wabash River - Linn Grove Park - Adams County - Public

The next improved launch location is 9.5 miles downstream from this location at the White Bridge Picnic Area on the east side of Bluffton.

Approximate Time to Next Launch: 11.8 Hrs

Launch Type: Improved Concrete Ramp

Parking: located in the park.

The future Vera Cruz Paddlesport Launch Site will be 5.3 miles downstream from this location.  Trip time estimate of 6.6 Hours.

Wabash River - White Bridge Picnic Area - Wells County - Public

The next launch location is 2.1 miles downstream from this location at the base of Crosby Bridge (Main Street) (SR 1) in downtown Bluffton on the east side of Bluffton.

Approximate Time to Next Launch: 2.6 Hrs

Launch Type: Improved Concrete Ramp

Parking: located in the picnic area.

The future Vera Cruz Paddlesport Launch Site will be 4.2 miles upstream from this location. Trip time estimate of 5.25 Hours.

Wabash River - Crosby Bridge - Wells County - Public

The next launch location is 5.25 miles downstream from this location along the north side of Rose Rd.

Approximate Time to Next Launch: 6.5 Hrs

Launch Type: Low bank area near the bridge.

Parking: located in the grass area located east of the bridge

The future Vera Cruz Paddlesport Launch Site will be 6.5 miles upstream from this location. 

Wabash River - Rose Rd - Wells County - Private

The next launch location is 6.75 miles downstream from this location. The Markle Ramp is located on the south side of SR 116 and east of Markle.

Approximate Time to Next Launch: 8.5 Hrs

Launch Type: Low bank area on the north side of Rose Rd.

Parking: located on the north side of Rose Rd.

Wabash River - Markle - Wells County - Public

There are no launch locations accessible downstream of this location due to the small waterfall west of the location.  

Launch Type: Improved Gravel Ramp

Parking: located at the ramp

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