Guide to Canoeing and Camping in Montgomery County | Montgomery County Visitors & Convention Bureau
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Guide to Canoeing and Camping in Montgomery County

Schedule your exciting camping and canoeing getaway in Montgomery County, Indiana. Sugar Creek is said to be the best canoeing waterways in Indiana. It offers days of adventures, and camping is the perfect accompaniment to you paddling pleasure trip.

Canoeing and Other Paddle Sports

Sugar Creek is the premier paddle sport waterway in Indiana. It gets its name from the sugar maple trees along its banks. This clear running creek is 93 miles long and flows through Montgomery County, including Crawfordsville. It winds through two state parks, Shades and Turkey Run, and  eventually merges with the Wabash River.

Not only is the water remarkably clear, but the banks are also spectacularly scenic. Trees line the banks which are interrupted by stunning sandstone ridges and cliffs. Paddling along, you’ll also encounter historic covered bridges which blend in beautifully with the natural splendor. Take a paddle-pause in the numerous shady ravines for a peaceful connection with nature.

No matter your floating device preference, Sugar Creek welcomes you. Bring your canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or tubes, or rent them on site.

Canoe Trips and Camping Combos

Just like peanut butter and jelly, canoeing and camping go together perfectly.  Here are two places to rent equipment (or bring your own!), schedule a trip with shuttle service back to your vehicle and to camp.

Sugar Creek Campground and Canoe Rental offers 48 acres of adventure. With a half mile of Sugar Creek frontage, you’ll have water views and easy access. Camping options include primitive, tent sites with water and electric, pop-ups spots, motorhome and RV sites with full hookups. Rustic cabins are available to reserve. Showers/restrooms, fire pits, picnics tables, fishing, playgrounds, sports courts, covered pavilion, plus more, are all available. Activities including games and crafts are scheduled regularly.

Plan a canoe, kayak or tube trip ranging from 3-mile, 5-mile and the day long 11-mile distances. Rent from our outfitter or bring your own paddle sport equipment. Then, stay to paddle another day. It’s all you need for an exciting outdoor adventure!

Clement’s Canoes Outdoor Center is another outfitter and camping option. Close to Shades State Park, their trips showcase dramatic scenery. Choose from several canoeing, kayaking or tubing options from mini trips to two days on Sugar Creek.  Along the banks, you may spot wildlife at the Pine Hills Nature preserve or uncover a fossil or Native American relic on shore. Stay at the primitive tent campsites that include picnic tables, fire rings, restroom/showers and camp store. Or, reserve one of the limited number of rustic cabins.


Located in Waveland, Shades State Park has non-electric sites with the primitive camper in mind. The dramatic terrain features cliffs and ravines; therefore, hiking can be rugged and challenging – perfect for the experienced trekker. 

Crawfordsville KOA offers everything you’ve come to expect from a KOA campground. Campsites are available for tents, campers, trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes. Amenities include pavilion, book exchange, ice cream socials, free Wifi, game room, playground and pool (seasonal). Firewood and propane available. Pets welcome.

Bring your fishing boat, jet ski, paddle sports and camping gear to experience the lake life at Lake Waveland. Their schedule of events includes crafts, games, fishing tournaments, contests and holiday celebrations. Camping sites accommodate RVs, trailers, pop-ups, tents and more. In addition to the lake, amenities include pool with water slide, 20 or 30 amp hook ups, restroom/showers and dump station.

If you have a large group, consider Camp Rotary just five miles west of Crawfordsville and adjacent to Sugar Creek. This facility has a mess hall with a full modern kitchen and a bunkhouse that sleeps forty-five. Both are heated and airconditioned and ideal for family reunions, scouts or church groups. Hiking trails, streams to explore, archery ranges, fishing and paddle sports will give your group a variety of activities.

Premier outdoor adventure awaits you in Montgomery County. Schedule your getaway soon and take advantage of all Sugar Creek, Shades State Park and Lake Waveland have to offer.

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