Sugar Creek, Indiana, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||10 fpm|
|Max Gradient||10 fpm|
|SUGAR CREEK AT CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN|
|usgs-03339500||500 - 3000 cfs||I||02h07m||690 cfs (running)|
|You will scrape in many areas, but the river may be paddled. Likely to find only very lame/tame whitewater. Gauge (509 sq.mi. drainage) is 10-15 mi. downstream, and a few large tribs intervene, thus gauge will not reflect actual flow at Darlington.|
One testament to the popularity of this river is the fact that a number of canoe liveries and
campgrounds are scattered along the river. Another testament is the various conflicting
assertions we've received regarding where put-in and take-out 'should be', and where
whitewater boaters might find the 'best' features or run to focus on. As a result, we
have laid out a wide variety of access points, allowing for trips of various lengths, to suit a
wide variety of paddler preferences.
Gradient is never really more than 10-15 feet per mile (and generally less than that). By virtually all reports, the rapids are pretty much wide-open wave trains (at least, at good flows ... at lower flows there may be some rock-dodge areas). The biggest hazard is likely to be deadfall and snags (trees and branches) in the river, as well as occasional bridge piers (which may also accumulate wood from time to time). The combination of this data (and input we have received) suggests the river is runnable though a wide range of flows, depending upon boater's experience and awareness of the increased power of higher flows and the attendant increased risk.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||County Line Road / County Road 1200W||N/A|
|1.7||County Road 950E||N/A|
|5.1||County Road N 700E||N/A|
|6.8||County Road E 500N||N/A|
|6.9||Covered Bridge: Drainage: ~320 sq.mi.||N/A|
|9.2||County Road N 425E||N/A|
|12.1||County Road 275E||N/A|
|13.2||County Road 175E||N/A|
|17.0||USGS gauge: 509 sq.mi.||N/A|
|17.1||Low Head Dam (Portage)||N/A|
Paddlers often opt for a put in above this old RR trestle (from the river left side). There are several excellent play waves just downstream from the trestle at levels above 3' (or above 1000 cfs) on the USGS gauge.
(Probably don't want to take out here ... a nice bit of gradient lies between here and next access at a scenic covered bridge.)
Drainage area at this location is approximately 320 sq.mi. (as calculated via USGS StreamStats Beta software). This is about 5/8ths the drainage at the listed gauge, thus flow in the upper portion of the river (on average) could be on the order of 0.6 times the gauge reading.
A fine short run (~1 mile) is just putting in here, taking out at CR175E.
At 4 ft (2820 cfs) on the Crawfordsville gage, this is one long (approximately 1/2 mile) wave train with 3 ft standing waves.
At 2.3 ft (616 cfs) on the gage, expect to scrape (there won't really be much to surf).
Look for a minimum of 2.8 ft (1090 cfs) on the gage.
(NOT an access point, just a progress-marker/waypoint.)
Gauge is just above dam upstream of Hwy.231 in Crawfordsville. It lists 509 square miles drainage at that point, and shows elevation of 657.34'.
This is dam (at the coal power plant, just upstream of the Hwy.43/231/Washington Street bridge) is a 'drowning machine'. Portage on river right.