Sugar Creek is a swift-moving stream that sprawls nearly 100 miles from its source in Tipton County to its confluence with the Wabash River.
The creek bed was originally carved by the Wisconsin glacier as it receded nearly 10,000 years ago. Long before that last ice age, the area was covered by a swallow inland sea filled with prehistoric animals and plant life. Fossils from the region, especially Crinoids, are held in collections around the world, from the Carnegie Museum in Crawfordsville to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. These 350 million year ago specimens can still be readily found on sandbars and in shallow water throughout Sugar Creek.
Surrounded by lush scenery and diverse wildlife, Sugar Creek provides many excellent recreational opportunities. Unfortunately, the by-products of human presence continually threaten the creek's health. Sewage overflow, agricultural run-off, and illegal trash dumping all pose serious ecological concerns. Friends of Sugar Creek seeks to increase public awareness of these issues while finding ways to address them.
Sugar Creek is frequently cited as Indiana's most beautiful waterway for canoeing. In addition to the towering riparian trees and dramatic sandstone bluffs that line the banks, scenery includes historic mills, covered bridges, and a variety of wildlife, such as soft-shelled turtles, white-tailed deer, great blue herons, and bald eagles. With three commercial liveries and several public access sites, there remains a good balance between access and seclusion.
Sugar Creek is recognized as a trophy small-mouth bass destination by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. These relentless and acrobatic fighters, often referred to as "the gamest fish that swims" thrive in the creek and provide a challenge for any angler! Other sport fish include large-mouth bass, rock bass, channel catfish, flat-head catfish, freshwater drum, and carp.