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Located in northern Indiana, Tippecanoe Lake is the deepest lake in the state. It is part of the Barbee Lakes chain which is made up of seven interconnected natural lakes that were created by glaciers. Tippecanoe Lake, known locally as "Lake Tippy", provides all kinds of recreational options for visitors including fishing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, and, yes, canoeing. The name Tippecanoe doesn't have anything to do with canoes or canoeing, however. Instead, it is a Native American word with a long history of variations from French speakers and Europeans who referred to it on their early maps and documents. The origin comes from the Miami Indian word for what we now call carp, which they called "buffalo fish". It would appear that "kiteepihkwanwa" (many variations exist) morphed into "quitepicannae" by a French-speaking U.S. emissary and then "Lac Tipicaneau". That is the short version, but it eventually ended up on maps as either Tippecanoe Lake or Lake Tippecanoe. Whatever its origins, the residents of the area take great pride in their lake and in its conservation.
The Barbee Lakes chain was formed by receding glaciers which left a network of lakes, wetlands and drainages surrounded by nearly level topography. The main inflows to Tippecanoe Lake are from the Tippecanoe River through James Lake and from the other lakes in the Barbee chain flowing through Grassy Creek. Water then flows into Oswego Lake, whose dam maintains the water level of Tippecanoe Lake. Eventually, Lake Tippy's waters flow back to the Tippecanoe River. While farming is the main land use of the area, the main purpose of the area's lakes is recreational.
Anglers are treated to a variety of over 25 species of fish at Tippecanoe Lake. The best fishing comes from bluegill, yellow perch, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, black crappie and northern pike. The lake also has excellent bass and pan fishing, along with a growing opportunity for big muskie. Public access to Tippecanoe Lake is available all around the lake. Fishermen and boaters can also choose from a handful of commercial marinas for additional services.
Along with boat ramps and marinas, Tippecanoe Lake's shores are mostly filled with residential developments. However, visitors will also find parks and wetlands amongst the development. On the lake's extreme northwest shore you'll find Bel Rohr Park, while Forest Glen is located on Tippecanoe's central western shore. Kalorama Park is located opposite Forest Glen on Tippecanoe's eastern shore, while Mineral Springs is located on the southeastern shore. An eco zone is being established around the Ball Wetland area on the eastern shore of Tippecanoe Lake, where visitors will find natural shoreline and an undeveloped wetland area also known as "The Flats". The purpose of the eco zone is to protect the wetland area through boating restrictions and to restore native aquatic plant life.
The residents of Tippecanoe Lake are very active in its protection and responsible usage. The Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners association is a very active group of residents with the purpose of preserving the beauty and health of the lake. Available real estate is plentiful around Tippecanoe Lake, which is surrounded by expensive residential housing and also features two country clubs along its banks. A small unincorporated area of Oswego is located near the west-northwestern shore of the lake and the town of North Webster is about two miles to the east. A sprinkling of resorts and hotels can be found in the area as well as vacation rentals with lake views.
Just an hour's drive from Fort Wayne and airport services, Tippecanoe Lake is a wonderful lake to visit for the whole family when touring the Northern Tourism Region of Indiana.
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