Wabash, Indiana, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II(III) (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||10 fpm|
|WABASH RIVER AT BLUFFTON, IN|
|usgs-03323000||300 - 3000 cfs||I(II)||01h55m||~ 297 cfs (too low)|
|Lower than most prefer, but some play is possible. USGS gauge (532 Sq.Mi.Drainage) is about 15 miles upstream. A number of fairly small tribs intervene, so gauge should still be fairly accurate for this run.|
Put in on south side of a dike at the end of Wilt Street. Walk past the gates and down the stone
road to the river's south channel. (The north channel is all flat water.)
The rapids start 600' downstream of Hwy.3 bridge and continue for 1,500'. Class 1 riffles are followed by a river wide ledge that has a wave to surf. The next ledge is broken with 1.5' to 2' waves.
Scout the next one -- the waves and hole are close together so look at them both. The entrance is a sloping drop of 3' to 4' with some bigger waves and a good eddy on the left. Just below is a river wide hole with good eddies on both sides so you can stop to play. This hole can be a stopper (hard to get out of at some levels), with 500 cfs or a little more being a good play level. At higher levels this hole gets bigger than any on the East Race.
This is followed by a smaller rapid that has a fast chute with a strong eddy line on the right with deep water that is fun to play in. A bit of flat water leads to the take out on river-left at the end of County Road 150 S.
At 2,000 cfs the waves can reach 3 to 4' and the holes get big. Rescue could be difficult and scouting is recommended.
At 2,500 the river starts to go out out of it's banks, with big waves and holes which are stoppers (though they don't seem to keep you). The current is very fast so be careful!
This is a man-made channel which tends to change a bit each year. If the water is high, Rock Creek is a good warm up which uses the same take out.
The following YouTube video shows Markle at 1300 cfs.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.6||The Big Drop||II+|
A small ledge that has some play spots
This ledge has a smooth surfing wave on river-left
A wave with deeper water and an eddy on river-right
A sloping drop of 4 to 5 feet into some big waves. A good eddy exists at river-left. Scout this from river-left.
A big hole comes quickly after the waves of Big Drop. This can be a stopper at some levels, or a play spot for some at lower levels. (Scout this when you scout Big Drop.)