Exploring Our Waterways

Did you know?

The South Bend - Elkhart Region is blessed to have beautiful and recreation-friendly bodies of water:

  • 2 regional rivers: the Elkhart River and St. Joseph River
  • Creeks such as Christiana Creek,
  • Lakes around the area like the Chain of Lakes, Simonton Lake, and many others.

Ways to Enjoy Our Waterways:

  • Fishing
    • We have over 85 fish species (including the popular smallmouth bass and walleye)  in our rivers and lakes in this area and have many spots to fish in. People come from around the country to fish for smallmouth bass on the St. Joe River.
    • Almost every park in Elkhart that’s on a body of water has a pier or dock to fish off of.
    • While you're out on the water, look for our 2 endangered species: greater redhorse and northern lamprey
    • Check out the Elkhart County Waterways Alliance brochure and map:

EC Fishing Map(Click the map above for a larger version)

  • Canoeing/Kayaking
    • The St. Joe and Elkhart Rivers are great for canoeing and kayaking, which you can fish from, as well. Another popular place is along Christiana Creek.
    • You can rent canoes or kayaks from many places such as Goshen Parks, South Bend’s East Race, or take a trip from a livery such as Bristol Canoe and Kayak.
    • Check out the Elkhart County Waterways Alliance brochure and map:

EC Paddling Map(Click the map above for a larger version)

  • Watching Wildlife
    • Our waterways support a variety of wildlife that you can see like turtles, river otters, beavers, and muskrats, herons, cerulean warblers and more. The St. Joe River is a great place to see eagles!

Connect with the Community:

We have a great community of people utilizing the waterways and it’s easy to connect up with them through Facebook. Check out the Elkhart County Waterways Alliance's Facebook page for more resources and contacts.