Monday, January 18, 2010

Geist Reservoir - it may be what you're drinking!

Geist Reservoir is located on the NE side of Indianapolis. It actually spans 3 counties, 4 school districts and 5 zip codes.  There is a community website at that can provide even more details on events, developments, etc.

Geist was constructed in 1943 by damming Fall Creek in order to provide water for Indianapolis because it was determined in the early 1900's that White River and Fall Creek would not provide enough water for the increasing needs of Indianapolis.  Once completed it became the 2nd largest lake in Indiana.

Geist was named after Clarence Geist, a former owner of the Indianapolis Water Company who foresaw the coming water deficit and envisioned Geist Reservoir, but died 5 years before its completion.  He purchased 5,000 acres in Fall Creek Valley in the 20's and 30's including the town of Germantown which lies at the bottom of the reservoir.

The dam that created the reservoir is at the southern end.  It is fed by Fall Creek on the north and the overflow is directed to the creek on the south end.  The entire reservoir is fairly shallow (10 feet or less) and you really need to be familiar with the lake before boating - or it could cost you a propeller.

The reservoir is now surrounded by residential homes and is a motorized facility with multiple public launch sites (fee) and marinas in addition to the privately owned boat docks.

Warmer months see lots of fishing, speed and pontoon boats.  It is also the home to the Indy Survivoars - a breat cancer survivor dragon boat team.  Watch for their boat - it's easy to spot - long & pink with a dragon head and drummer.  Winter if the water freezes deep enough you can see ice fishing and ice boating.

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