Wildcat Creek (North & South Forks)
The wildcat creek waterway has many recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The state of Indiana (IDNR) recognizes much of the creek system as scenic waterway. The waterways provide recreational, historical, as well as geological attractions.
The wildcat creek system consists of three forks (North, South, Middle). All the forks flow in an east to west direction. Often water levels very on all three forks depending on the season, spring having the higher levels and late summer/early fall having lower levels. The South Fork of the wildcat begins in Howard County flowing through north-central Indiana crop lands, pastures, forests, as well as developed areas through Carroll County and into Tippecanoe County. The south fork often has less water compared to the north fork but still allows for great canoeing and fishing. The south fork eventually meets up with the north fork at First Wildcat Park.
The North Fork begins for canoeists at Pe-Che-Wah Public Access near Greentown and ends in the Wabash River near Lafayette. The north fork has the larger flow of water of the three waterways. Along the creek you can find 12 public access sites ending with Davis Ferry on the Wabash. The north fork also offers great fishing as well as viewing of wildlife.
The Middle Fork has no public access and a number of obstacles make this fork more difficult for the average canoeist. An experienced canoeist may find the creek challenging if water levels are cooperative and permission to use private property is obtained.
North Fork of Wildcat Creek
Burlington to Adams Mill – the Burlington Access site is a newer access site built by DNR Fish and Wildlife and it marks the beginning of the scenic section of Wildcat Creek on the North Fork. The site is on the north side of Burlington on SR 29, turn left on Arvin Road just past the bridge over Wildcat Creek. The access road is immediately left just as you enter Arvin Road. Follow the gravel drive to the scenic river sign where there is parking for 5-6 cars. A foot path from the parking area will lead over the levy down to the waters edge.
Adams Mill (dam) to Knop Lake - the put in site is at Adams Mill Public Fishing Area. There is a path that leads to the water but it may be lengthy. This is a popular place for fishermen. There are plenty of picnic areas in and around the mill. Parking spaces shouldn't be a problem, as there is plenty of room. It is approximately 14 miles to the next access site. So plan accordingly for a 6 to 8 hour float. The creek flows under the Lancaster covered bridge (500 W). This is a popular area for photographers.
Knop Lake to Mis-so-la - this is a nine-mile trip taking from 4 to 7 hours to float.
Mis-so-la to First Wildcat Park - the parking area at Mis-so-la is small. The put in site is easy to find and easy to use. The 4 mile trip can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Recommended as a good trip for those who are looking for a quick easy paddle.
First Wildcat Park to Peters Mill - The park has plenty picnic tables as well as a picnic shelter. There are also restrooms and plenty of parking. The put-in at First Wildcat Park can require a lengthy portage to the edge of the creek. A nice sandy beach covers the area popular with the locals for swimming and lying out. The float should take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Peters Mill to Davis Ferry (Wabash River) - The Peters Mill site is small but easily accessible to the water. It has a nice wooden dock for easy access to the creek. The float from Peters mill to Davis Ferry can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours.
Emergency medical service is available at hospitals in Kokomo and Lafayette.
South Fork of Wildcat Park
From Dayton to Fairfield - The put in is downstream of the state road 38 bridge (on the eastern edge of Dayton), along Co. Road 800 E., on the right bank of the creek. Stay close to the bridge and follow the path to the creek. There is plenty of paved parking for at least 50 cars. The next public access site is in the Fairfield Lake Fish and Wildlife area. It can take anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours to float this stretch.
Fairfield to Monitor - The put in is on a sandy shore found at the end of a small walking path, which is paved, and ADA accessible. The parking area can hold around a dozen cars. The float should take from 2 to 4 hours to reach Monitor Public access site.
Monitor to First Wildcat Park - the put in is located just under the bridge. A short footpath with steps leads you to the water. The float can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Emergency service is located in Lafayette.