St. Joe R.- Kankakee R. portage

  1. Can someone point me to a web site or reference that would show the path of the old St. Joseph River to Kankakee River portage in Indiana?

  2. Can someone tell me how far upstream the Kankakee River is canoeable?



Mike Svob Paddling Illinois.
Extremely detailed for area you desire. Check or Barnes and Noble or Borders.

… that the St. Joe-Kankakee portage is in north-central Indiana, southwest of South Bend. I have traced it on the topos, but don’t know how much is paddleable now.

I’d love to know what you learn. I’m originally from Fort Wayne, site of another major portage, and am fascinated by the idea of canoe travel in the Midwest. There are quite a number of routes.


LaSalle Expedition II

– Last Updated: Oct-06-05 8:32 AM EST –

did the portage in the winter of 1976-1977, probably in december of 76. They ran into ice on the Kankakee and sledded their canoes for quite a way. It was a very cold winter. The Illinois froze solid and the Mississippi was frozen much further south then usual. They were a tough bunch of kids.

I imagine the Kankakee can get pretty low at times in its headwaters. There ought to be some USGS gauges on the river that you can use to plan the best time to paddle and portage the area.

You may try looking at local newspapers from December 1976 at the library. I'm sute the passage of the re-enactment was noted and they may show the route taken for the portage.