April Fools on Big Pine Creek

This trip is water dependent and will be cancelled if water or weather are not suitable.  It is held on the best whitewater stream in Indiana (yep, whitewater in Indiana).  More details will be provided to those interested in going.  This trip is a solid Class II (harder than the Pine or Rogue) when the water is up.  But at low levels is suitable for beginners.  It is located about 30 minutes west and south of Lafayette, IN.  For those who have never experienced this creek, it is a very surprising and beautiful stream that will make you think you're in Tennessee. One of Indiana's best kept secrets. Cold water gear is required, and experience paddling in rapids with big (3'+) waves.  

If you've been thinking about trying whitewater, this isn't a bad choice for a starter (assuming the water levels are reasonable). It's pretty straight-forward and safe. The road runs along the river the whole way.

Normally I drive to Lafayette on Friday night and stay in a motel. But early risers could drive in Saturday morning if they choose to.  Meeting time is 9:00 AM in Pine Village (center of town).

Once the group has been identified, we can make arrangements for ride & room sharing to help keep the costs down.

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  • Roger S.

    Thanks to everyone who came along on the Big Pine April Fools paddle with me. There's nothing like spending your birthday with good friends on a river. Hope you all enjoyed the day as much as I did.

    April 7, 2014

  • Jeremiah V.

    Here is a link to "you tube" to watch some of the weekend i captured on my gopro . The beginning is rocky ford and the very end is the "S" curve. feel free to skip to the end, the video is a little long. We had 3 swimmers in rocky ford.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICrb9NpBnIE

    April 7, 2014

    • Roger S.

      Thanks Jeremiah. Man, look at that sky - perfect clear blue day.

      April 7, 2014

    • Jeremiah V.

      It was so nice out that I got sunburn on my face and neck. now that's a good of kayaking!

      April 7, 2014

  • Roger S.

    Great day!

    April 5, 2014

  • Roger S.

    One of my local sources got me information at 5 p.m. Today, that Big Pine Creek is at 3 feet on the Rainsville bridge gauge . I'm sure that it still rising, so we should have an exciting day tomorrow! Wahooo!

    April 4, 2014

  • Roger S.

    I'm also here in Lafayette, at the Red Roof Inn.

    April 4, 2014

  • James S.

    Noooo..... Connie, Crazy James and we're on our way.... napin in watervaliet this evening, see ya'll in the A. M.......

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am here in Lafayette now, and it is bitterly cold with a wind that really bites. I may wimp out and go directly home tomorrow. If I am not there, don't look for me! And, have fun!

    April 4, 2014

  • Brooke

    I'm not going to be able to go with y'all as I have other commitments - if y'all come down next year I may join you! But, yes! We're having flash floods down here in Boilermaker Country (I work @ Purdue). Camping may not be the best idea. I wish I could join y'all, it sounds like a blast! :)

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Roger S.

    The latest update from Gary Hill (the OFFICIAL leader of this outing) is that HIGH WATER is expected. They've had over 2" of rain today, and it's still raining. Radar shows more may be on the way for this evening. All the river gages that are close to Big Pine are going up like Rockets. Gary will scout the river on Friday and be available for phone calls after 7 PM. [masked] home, [masked] mobile). River Levels (Rainsville Bridge):
    "0" up to 1-ft....... We will run Rocky Ford. Kayaks should have Helmets & Skirts. If the flow is 1-ft or higher, any Kayak without a helmet and spray skirt will be required to start below Rocky Ford. Above 2-ft: Anyone without whitewater experience will be asked to start their Trip below Rocky Ford. Saturday's weather looks good. However, please be forewarned that we could be looking at very high flows.

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please note two campgrounds in the area are: AOK Campground (225 East 300 South Lafayette IN 47909 also listed at 225 Ortman Lane Lafayette IN;[masked]; charge is $16 per tent with 2 people and $25 for electric and hook-up) and Prophetstown State Park ($26 for electric hook-up or $15 for tent, plus $8 gate fee and $7 per day out of state entrance fee). I will be at the AOK campground for anyone interested, starting tomorrow Thursday, if weather permits. Also, is the time we meet--9 am--central or eastern time? I think IN is on central, is that correct.
    And guess what Roger? I EGDED on the Nantahala this week!

    2 · April 2, 2014

    • Roger S.

      The time in Pine Village is the same as in lower Michigan

      April 2, 2014

    • Roger S.

      If you don't want to camp, there are a number of cheap motels on IN 26, on the east side of Lafayette (near I65).

      April 2, 2014

  • Kathy S.

    Decided not to do this run. I do have Hydroskins, but no skirt yet, which I know is essential. I may head down there on the last week of April, or will have to wait until June. Best wishes and be safe!

    April 1, 2014

    • Kathy S.

      Thanks Roger, good to know. Would you have a contact for me in the area, or someone that can report the conditions?

      April 2, 2014

    • Roger S.

      You can check the whitewater section of the Hoosier Canoe Club bulletin board website. Normally if there's any water activity it'll show up there. Or you can just send me a message or call me. I know a few people that live close by and I know where to look for some data. Believe me, it's too complicated to explain.

      1 · April 2, 2014

  • Roger S.

    Latest information suggests that there will be enough water. Those who have recreational kayaks without skirts, and no helmets, will likely be asked to put-in below the big section (for your own safety). If you have no whitewater experience, even though your equipment may be adequate, that might be the right choice for you too. This section could have waves that may break over your shoulders (or higher). If you don't have a dry suit, dress to get soaked in very cold water. Plan on a swim and carry whatever spare clothes & gear you'll need if that should happen.
    Your most likely chance of swimming will likely come right away. So don't spend the rest of the day shivering and regretting that you did NOT plan for it.

    Plan to be in downtown Pine Village, IN at 9:00 (not 9:30) to hear about the access points and shuttle.

    I'll be in a Black Toyota pick-up with a blue kayak on top. Look for me.

    As more info comes in, I'll let you know.

    March 31, 2014

  • NWIcanoer

    I'll be there with the Hoosier Canoe Club bunch on a trip sponsored by Garry Hill. Meet at Pine Village at 9:30 am. Details on HCC web site. A very good time!

    March 31, 2014

  • Karen

    I'll be moved up north the beginning of May, so should be able to start signing up for local paddles after that!

    March 30, 2014

    • Roger S.

      Karen - have you been getting the messages I've sent you about the July trip? Need you to contact me right away.

      March 30, 2014

  • Bob E.

    Have to help my daughter move. Have fun.

    March 29, 2014

  • Brooke

    I may join y'all. It sounds like a lovely trip and I'm in West Lafayette, IN.

    2 · March 21, 2014

  • Kathy S.

    Yeah, I'm not sure if I'll be paddling this, but I would still love to go. I guess it will depend upon the water, weather, and the run. If it's viable for me, I could rent a whitewater kayak.

    1 · February 9, 2014

    • Dennis E. D.

      Bought same boat last spring, and love it. Ended up ordering a skirt from Austin kayak. They had a seals brand that was specific for the xp9

      2 · March 21, 2014

    • Kathy S.

      Thanks Dennis, I will look them up.

      March 21, 2014

  • Barry Z.

    Check out this clip of some folks that were there last month when water was at 4.5 ft . It looks like it gets pretty hairy about 1 min 30 into the video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksat4efNMt0&feature=em-share_video_user


    Have fun, and be careful!

    1 · March 20, 2014

  • Bill G

    ROGER: Are you planning on paddling the BIG PINE CREEK from Rainsville (Rocky Ford rapids) to Twin Bridges? I've been reading up on the creek, and may post the information if it's the same section you're planning on paddling.

    March 15, 2014

    • Roger S.

      It's a 4+ hour trip to get there. So I won't make the final call for this trip until I know what the water and weather conditions will be. This isn't something that can be known more than a few days before.

      March 17, 2014

    • Dennis E. D.

      Ok. I am going to add myself and will update accordingly if thing aren't going to work out.

      March 17, 2014

  • Rhonda W.

    Unfortunately, I will still be in Colorado or on my way home at the time of this paddle. Helping my Mom and moving her to Michigan.

    March 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd like to join you if my return happens in time. When the time gets closer I mayhave to update this message.

    March 14, 2014

  • Greg W.

    I'd be interested in running this river, I am not an experienced white water kayaker. My experience is running a class II/III river in South Carolina and the pine and rogue many times. I have a liquid logic remix Xp kayak with cold weather gear. I'd like to hear back from the experienced paddlers if I should try this river. Thanks Greg

    1 · February 15, 2014

    • Roger S.

      Well, your boat and gear sound appropriate. It pretty much depends on the water level. As the date gets closer I will be going over this more with people that have decided to go. But if you want to go, then you should sign on.

      1 · February 15, 2014

    • Greg W.

      Thanks Roger I'm now signed up to go.

      February 17, 2014

  • Steve (Stephen) S.

    I'm strugglin' with a neck injury right now, but if it gets better by then I'll jump on the list!!

    1 · February 10, 2014

    • Kathy S.

      Take care Steve, and tell Laura hello for me. :-)

      February 11, 2014

  • Rhonda W.

    I want to begin trying some whitewater, and this sounds like an early, good first trip to get me going. I am attending a couple of pool practices over the next month. Of course, this is only if I can purchase a whitewater kayak by then, right now I just have my recreational kayak.

    January 31, 2014

    • Rhonda W.

      Well, I have a Pelican too, so I guess I will just be camping unless the river is low. Which is ok with me. I am open to sharing a site. I will have a one/two person tent, no pets.

      February 10, 2014

    • Roger S.

      Be sure to research camping places in advance. I'm not familiar with camping in that area. I just get a hotel the night before in Lafayette. The morning meeting place is about 25 miles from there.

      1 · February 10, 2014

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