Wabash - Markle to County Road 150 S (1.2 miles)

Wabash, Indiana, US


Markle to County Road 150 S (1.2 miles) (Markle bypass channel)

Usual Difficulty I-II(III) (varies with level)
Length 1.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03323000 300 - 3000 cfs I(II) 00h19m ~ 236 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.

River Description

Caution: 4-29-09 The run has changed. SCOUT it on the river left. The rapid by the island has changed a lot, all the water goes left of what was the island so SCOUT this drop.

Graig surfing the hole at 287 cfs


Put in on south side of the 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'. Starting with a class 1 followed by a river wide ledge that has a wave to surf. The next ledge is broken with some 1.5' to 2' waves.

Scout the next one -- the waves and hole are close together so look at them both. A sloping drop of 3' to 4' with some bigger waves and a good eddy on the left next to the waves. Just below is a big river wide hole with good eddies on both sides so you can stop to play. This hole can be a stopper and hard to get out of at some levels: 500 cfs or a little more is a good play level. At higher levels the hole gets bigger than any on the East Race.

After this is 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 your left at the end of County Road 150 S. This is an older photo, most of the trees to the river right of this paddler are washed away now and the drop is a bit wider.


Brian's turn


. At 2,000 cfs the waves can reach 3 to 4' and the holes get big. Rescue could be difficult and scouting is recommended.


Brent runing the hole at 551 cfs 


At 2,500 the river starts to go out out of it's banks. At this level it is wide has big waves and the holes are stoppers but they don't seem to keep you. The current is very fast so be careful

This is a man made channel and changes some each year, in fact it has changed a lot in the last two years.  If the water is high, Rock Creek is a good warm up that uses the same take out.


Dan with another good run


Tom testing the hole at 580 cfs

The following YouTube video shows Markle at 1300 cfs.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2011-03-17 12:39:39


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.3First ledgeIPlayspot
0.4Second LedgeIPlayspot
0.4Wabash WaveIPlayspot
0.6The Big DropII+Hazard Playspot
0.6Brian's HoleIIHazard Playspot

Rapid Descriptions

First ledge (Class I, Mile 0.3)

A small ledge that has some play spots

Second Ledge (Class I, Mile 0.4)

This ledge has a nice smooth surfing wave on the river left

Wabash Wave (Class I, Mile 0.4)

A nice wave with deeper water and a nice eddy on the right

The Big Drop (Class II+, Mile 0.6)

A sloping drop of 4 to 5 feet into some big waves. There is a good eddy on the left next to the waves. Scout this from river-left.

Brian's Hole (Class II, Mile 0.6)

A big hole that comes after the waves of Big Drop. This hole can be a stopper at some levels or a play spot for some at lower levels. Scout this hole when you scout Big Drop.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 24 2016 (605 days ago)
jstruble (156583)
There is a new gauge!!! posted 5-24-16 http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/uv?site_no=03323000
October 29 2014 (1178 days ago)
jstruble (156583)
We ran this twice now (at 350 cfs and 950cfs). As stated the rapid has changed and we ran it twice
recently at two different levels so here is what we found. Big drop & Brian's Hole are really one
rapid in my opinion. The rapid is easy to recognize as you can see the river clearly falling away
on the horizon as you approach. The combined total drop of the rapid from entrance to final pool is
maybe 10-15 feet (two slanting drops of 4' plus some gradient in the entrance and in between the
drops). Eddy out on river left to scout. As you approach there are small waves as the gradient
increases. We'll call that the "entrance waves". Once through the entrance (if you didn't eddy
out), you approach Big Drop, there is a small surfable hole river right at the top about 20-30 feet
before the drop which is why we call it the "hero hole". You can play that wave/hole but your roll
better be lighting fast if you flip as there "might" be enough time for a roll, and its fast
current and shallow. Screwup factor is increased if you play that upper hole and flip. The drop is
a slanting drop with a hole at the bottom. At 350 cfs there is a curling tongue on river right that
flows towards right of center which was the more hero route. The middle line is pretty straight
forward...punch the hole, and left of center is the more conservative route. Catch the eddy on
either side (river left is preferred) then run the drop into Brian's Hole. Brians Hole: Center and
right over this drop put you into the meat of the hole. Run center angled to the left and punch /
skirt the left side of the hole. Far River left misses the hole at both 350 cfs and 950 cfs. The
hole was very retentive at 350cfs, yet very playable at 950cfs. Don't let lower water level fool
you on this one, I don't think the classification would change much between 950 and 350. I'll
upload a photo. Although I never ran this before the changes, from what I have head about it, I
think with the changes to the rapid, calling it class II is maybe under rated. I would rate it more
like a class II+ or III- depending on levels. This definitely has more going on than S-Turn on Big
Pine Creek II-III? or Widowmaker II+ on Pipe Creek. Also we tried parking at the ball field once
and hiking up over the levee. Not recommended unless you are park n playing and have to walk back
up to your car. Walking down the levee over the big loose rocks was tricky while carrying a boat
and it was a longer walk than we thought. Happy paddling!

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