Indiana requires all watercrafts - motorized or not - to have a lake permit displayed on their vessels. The lake permit replaced the launching permit beginning in 2006 but the funds are still used to cover operating costs to the facility visited. Before you head out, make sure to check out DNR's information on watercraft permits.
Thousands of Hoosiers can be found paddling away in their canoes throughout the year. Canoeing, however, isn't something to jump into. You need to know a lot before setting out on your canoe adventure. Luckily, organizations want to help you. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources offers a great canoeing site suitable for the beginning and seasoned paddler. The guide gives some great advice on where to find canoe trails and canoe liveries; how to paddle; canoe camping; topographic maps and river flow data; and commonsensical tips on being safe while having fun.
The American Canoe Association, or the ACA, also provides courses in paddling. Learn paddling jargon; whether to choose a canoe or kayak; essential and optional gear; how to plan a trip appropriately; paddling techniques; how to be safe on the water; and boat care all in one easy to read handbook.
Indiana has about 2600 miles of waterways suitable for paddling. However, not all of these possible destinations have public access sites therefore it's important to do a little research before heading out to your local lake or river. The following waterways are just a few of the more popular canoeing sites in Indiana:
Brown County Wilderness Canoe Rental
Cave Country Canoes
Morgan's Canoe & Outdoor Centers
Rusted Moon Outfitters
White River Canoe Company
Indiana Outfitters also offers an extensive list of canoe outfitters throughout Indiana as well as trails, river and weather information. Indiana Rivers also has a forum discussing paddling groups and shuttle help.
Canoeing may seem like a simple, laid-back kind of activity but dangers do exist. Motorboats sharing the same river or lake and bad weather are canoeist's biggest threats. However, you can minimize your risk of danger by being smart about where and when you canoe. These guidelines will help keep you safe:
If you would like to have more information on canoe safety, visit the National Safety Council or the American Canoe Associations "Safety" section that offers a number of brochures on life jackets, safety checklists and rescue guides.
Canoeists understand that one of greatest enjoyments taken from being out on the water is the connection they have with the waterways and the wilderness surrounding them. For many paddlers, nothing is more important than water conservation and stewardship. Here are several tips from the American Canoe Association on how to make your camping adventure as low-impact as possible:
February 20, 2013