Canoeing on the Wildcat!
The launch point for the 25-mile floatable portion of the North Fork of the Wildcat in Carroll County begins at the new Public Access Site (PAS) constructed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2007 at the north abutment of the State Route (SR) 29 bridge in Burlington in southeast Carroll County. Parking for 10-15 vehicles is available. Canoes must be carried via a path up and over a levee next to the bridge to the put-in.
The National Register-listed 1845 Adams Mill is 9.0 miles downstream from the SR 29 bridge. An Indiana DNR Public Fishing Area (PFA) access is across the county road from the Mill. The Mill and the PFA can be accessed from SR 75 into Cutler via County Roads (CR) 485E, 500S and 75E. The Mill, a National Register-listed property, serves as a museum and still has much of its flour grinding equipment displayed. The PFA parking lot and adjacent area will hold about 30 vehicles. The 9.4-acre site was acquired in 1986. About a half-mile downstream is the National Register-listed 1872 Adams Mill Covered Bridge.
Xenia Bridge, 7 miles downstream from Adams Mill, has a small, undeveloped access area on the northwest side of Prince William Road and CR 350, owned by the County. Only temporary parking for a single vehicle is available at that site.
The County’s only other remaining covered bridge, the 1870 Lancaster Bridge, is 2.7 miles downstream from Xenia Bridge. The property on both sides of the bridge is privately owned so no Creek access is available.
The Knop Lake PFA and Wildcat Creek PAS is 13.6 miles downstream from Adams Mill and can be accessed from U.S. 421/ SR 39 South via CR 550W across from Owasco (well marked with Knop Lake and PAS signs from both the north and south), which within a mile turns west on CR 650S. The entrance to Knop Lake is on the north side of CR 650S at 2.3 miles from the state highway. The access road to the PAS runs north from the Lake and down a steep, gravel road to the Creek. Parking is available at the Lake and in the large PAS parking area. This is the last PAS in Carroll County, a 49-acre secluded area. It is 23.8 miles from Knop Lake to Davis Ferry, the confluence of the Wildcat with the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County.
Knop Lake can also be accessed from SR 26. Just east of the Tippecanoe/Clinton County line, turn North on CR 900W (which becomes CR 800W at 1 mile) at the DNR boat ramp signs and proceed 2.4 miles to CR 650S, marked with a brown arrow directional sign. Turn East on 650S and proceed 0.6 miles to the Knop Lake entrance, well marked with a large DNR Public Fishing Area sign. The sign, which faces west, is not readily observed when traveling from the east.
A useful website for information about distances between sites and the segments of Wildcat Creek is: Wildcatcreek.net. Another that provides maps of the areas described is hosted by the Wildcat Guardians.