About White River

small stream
White River begins in a farm field in Randolph County. Photo by tom mcCain.

White River flows in two forks across most of Central and Southern Indiana, creating the largest watershed contained entirely within the state, draining all or part of 42 of the 92 counties in the Hoosier state.

The West Fork of White River begins in a farmer’s field in Randolph County, south of Winchester. For its first few miles, it travels north, then turns west through Muncie and Anderson before flowing south through Noblesville, Indianapolis, Martinsville and Spencer.

two rivers
Confluence of the Driftwood and Flatrock Rivers in Columbus. Photo by tom mcCain.

The Blue and Flatrock Rivers rise within a few miles of each other in Henry County in Eastern Indiana. As it flows south, the Blue joins with Sugar Creek to become the Driftwood River, which meets the Flatrock in the city of Columbus. At this point, both waters have traveled about 100 miles. Their confluence (shown in the photo) forms the East Fork of White River.

Both forks of White River travel roughly south and west to meet in Daviess County, just above Petersburg. By then, the West Fork has traveled 273 miles; the East Fork, 162 (plus the 100 miles of the source rivers). At their confluence, the two forks are nearly equal in size.

White River watershedThe White then journeys 45 miles to its confluence with the Wabash River. You can download a color White River watershed map, showing its area and relationship to the other watersheds in Indiana. (PDF, 394 KB)

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