Lake Patoka is the second largest lake in Indiana with about 8,800 acres of water and over 160 miles of shoreline. Hoosier National Forest surrounds the lake with rolling tree-covered hills and rock outcroppings. There are headwaters to explore as well as sections where the lake starts feeling like big water.
For Sunday, we have planned a 6-8 mile paddle to an interesting and hard-to-find chain of quarry lakes near the Southeast corner of the lake.
Since it takes over 3 hours to get to Patoka, we will camp overnight at Fisherman’s Camp on Saturday night and paddle both Saturday and Sunday. This campsite is located near a limited speed section of the lake which is more kayak-friendly.
Some of us will drive there during the day on Friday and you are welcome to join us for an afternoon or sunset paddle or just to share a campfire with us. I will be on site 75. Those paddling both Friday evening and Saturday may want to foot launch from there and leave your boats onshore rather than loading and unloading. If you just want to day paddle Saturday, arrive at the Fisherman's Camp launch ramp by 10:00 am.
Patoka Lake Map: http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/patoka_trail.pdf
Meeting Place/Saturday Put-In: Fisherman’s Camp at Newton-Stewart State Recreation Area --Look for the kayaks! We’ll try to get as close to the lake as possible. Newton-Stewart SRA is just north of Wickliffe, Indiana. There is a $7/car fee (Indiana residents) to enter the SRA. If you have an annual State Property pass, it covers this fee. You should also have the yearly $5.00 DNR launch sticker, these are available at the gate if needed.
Directions to Meeting Place: It is about a 3-hour drive from the intersection of I-65 and I-465 on the south side of Indianapolis to Patoka. Drive South on I-65 and get off at Exit 6B (I-265 toward I-64/IN-62/New Albany). Take Exit 0 off of I-265 to merge onto I-64W toward IN-62/St. Louis. Go about 43 miles west on I-64 to Exit 79 and then go 7 miles North on IN-37. Turn slightly left on IN-64 West/IN-145. Follow IN-145 north 3.6 miles until you reach IN-164. Turn left (west) onto IN-164 about 1.3 mile until you see the sign for Newton-Stewart SRA and then turn right (North) into the SRA. Follow the signs in the SRA to the Fisherman’s Camp and look for us. Note: This is the fastest route. There is a shorter, sometimes slower, and more scenic route through West Baden.
Camping Information: Fisherman’s Camp is a primitive campground with water and vault toilets. Each campsite can have 2 tents and cars per campsite so you may be able to share a campsite. There is also a modern campground located elsewhere in the SRA, if you desire a site with electricity and nearby modern restrooms with showers. Campgrounds in general seem to fill up anymore, so you will want to make reservations once you know you want to camp.
What to Bring: Bring your camping gear including food (Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast and any snacks you might need) and paddling gear.
I would recommend a 12 ft. or longer boat, but it is not a requirement. You should have some lake paddling experience. Bring a spray skirt if you have one, since there may be some waves when the wind picks up. PFDs must be worn while on the water. The actual route and distance travelled will be dependent upon the capabilities of the paddlers and watercraft attending, as well as weather conditions. We’ll be “car camping” so you won’t carry your gear in your boat on this trip.
Note: You need a 2022 DNR sticker ($5) for your boat. They are available at the park gate if you don’t have one.
Friday Night - We will get in relatively early on Friday. We will have a short sunset paddle around 5:30 if people get in early and are interested.
Saturday 10:00 am - Arrive at Fisherman's Camp.
Sunday - We will paddle approximately 3 hours and then head home. We will break camp and drive to Little Patoka ramp to launch from there.
For more information contact Judy Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org.