Lake Monroe Watershed Tour


This 4-hour tour navigates the Lake Monroe watershed, the largest in the state. Destinations include:


Lake Monroe is Indiana’s largest lake, with 10,750 acres of water and a watershed of 23,952 acres. Monroe is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reservoirs. The lake spans portions of Brown and Monroe counties, with its watershed extending into Bartholomew, Jackson and Lawrence.

Monroe was built between 1960 and 1965, when the Corps of Engineers built the Lake Monroe Dam on the Salt Creek to control downstream flooding and provide drinking water and recreational opportunities.

A 1996 study by the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs found that forest covered 90 percent of the Monroe’s watershed, including 78,000 acres in the Hoosier National Forest and 40,000 acres in Yellowwood State Forest.

With eight State Recreation Areas, including Moore's Creek, Fairfax, Allen's Creek and Paynetown, and one federal, Hardin Ridge Recreation Area, Monroe offers visitors just about any sort of water-related outdoor activities possible – boating, waterskiing, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, caonoeing, picnicking and hunting, as well as nature centers, playgrounds and a full-amenity resort.

The North Fork Wildlife Refuge is located in the shallow, northeastern part of the lake. Eagles, hawks, herons, ducks, geese, grebes, loons, pelicans, gulls, terns and other waterfowl frequent and fly over the preserve.

Lake Monroe is bisected by the Ind. 446 Causeway, with the eastern portion reserved for wildlife and nonmotorized human activity. Motor boats are allowed, but they are limited to idle speed only.


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