Sugar Creek - Darlington (1.2 miles)

Sugar Creek, Indiana, US


Darlington (1.2 miles)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 1.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 10 fpm
Max Gradient 10 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-03339500 1000 - 3000 cfs I-II 01h02m 312 cfs (too low)

River Description

Put-in: County Road 575N at County Road 800 E. Paddlers usually put in above this trestle on the river left side.

Take-out: County Road 700 E bridge, north of Darlington -OR- County Road 500 E bridge, just past (west of) Darlington.

There are several excellent play waves just downstream from the trestle at levels above 3' on the USGS gage.

There apparently are several options for runs on this river.

Craig Nyquist reports (2008-12-02):
I usually do a run from the bridge on County Line Rd (1200W) (about ½ way between Darlington and Thorntown), down to the covered bridge just west of Darlington off of 500N (Main St). This can also be continued down to Crawfordsville if you want a long day.
Also 500 cfs (2.15') is a good low for this reach.

This would provide a trip of about 6.25 miles, or (to Crawfordsville) about 15 miles! This would probably be more 'canoe tripping' than 'whitewater'.

Robert H., HCC attests (2008-11-17):
The correct put in is 275 East and the take out is 175 East. Both roads are west of Darlington on Hwy 47.
At 4 ft (2820 cfs) on the Crawfordsville gage, this section is one long (approximately 1/2 mile) wave train with 3 ft standing waves.
At 2.3 ft (616 cfs) on the gage, we were scraping bottom and the creek boats couldn't surf. I suggest a minimum of 2.8 ft (1090 cfs) on the gage.

This actually provides a trip of about 1 mile, and apparently concentrates on a portion with whitewater play.

Robert H. Hoosier Canoe Club further provides (2009-04-30):
Sugar Creek has many waves and limestone ledges between Thorntown and Shades State Park.
The railroad bridge that Craig N. mentioned is at 800 E.
For those who paddle the Crawfordsville section be cautious of the drowning machine at the coal power plant
[just upstream of the] Hwy.43/231/Washington Street bridge. Portage on river right.
Most of the creek is pretty scrapy at less than 1350 cfs and makes it difficult to really enjoy playing.
The section shown in the picture is the long wave train just past the 275 E bridge.
There is another wave train with large waves shortly after 175 E.
This one has island service and would make an okay park and play location at above 1000 cfs.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-06-02 22:31:58


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Railroad BridgeN/AAccess
0.0County Line RoadN/AAccess
0.0USGS gauge locationN/A
0.0Low Head Dam (Portage)N/APortage Hazard
0.0Covered Bridge: Drainage: ~320 sq.mi.N/AAccess

Rapid Descriptions

Covered Bridge: Drainage: ~320 sq.mi. (Class N/A)

Drainage area at this location is approximately 320 sq.mi. (as calculated via USGS StreamStats Beta software).

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 29 2009 (3189 days ago)
Craig NyquistDetails
My buddy James & I had a great day on Sugar creek near Darlington on Sat. The level was around
800cfs. This is a good mid to low class 1 level with very nice surfing. We put in at County line
Rd. between Darlington and Thorntown and took out at the covered bridge just west of Darlington.
The upper part of this reach has some flat parts with riffles and some small rapids. The "good
stuff" kicks in at the RR Bridge, with some other class 1 stuff later. If you just want to surf and
play then just put in at the RR Bridge and maybe look for higher levels (above 1000cfs).

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