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Places to Paddle, Kayak, Canoe in Illinois

Kayaking & Canoeing in Illinois - Kayaking, Canoeing

Click below to find kayaking and canoeing paddling locations on rivers, lakes and canals in the Chicago area and other areas in the State of Illinois. Counties include: Cook County, McHenry County, Lake County and Kendall County. Some places require a fee or permit so check before you paddle.

If you have a favorite place to paddle in Illinois, please send it to us using our Contact Page. We'll post it here on our Places to Paddle in Illinois Page.


Chicago Area - click here

Listings include flat and moving water for: Calumet River, Chicago River, Des Plaines River, Du Page River, Fox River, Hennepin River, Illinois River, Illinois & Michigan Canal (I & M), Iroquois River, Kankakee River, Nippersink Creek, North Shore Sanitary Canal, Rock River, Salt Creek, Ship and Sanitary Canal, Vermilion river, Lake Atwood, Beaver Lake, Beck Lake, Big Bend Lake, Bluff Lake, Busse Lake, Lake Catherine, Channel Lake, Lake Defiance, Des Plaines Lake, Fox Lake, Grass Lake, Independence Grove Lake, Jericho Lake, Loon Lake, McCullom Lake, Lake Michigan, Lake Marie, Nippersink Lake, Petite Lake, Pistakee Lake, Powderhorn Lake, Saganashkee Slough, Shabbona Lake, Silver Lake, Spring Lake, Sterling Lake, Tampier Lake, Waubonsie Lake and Wolf Lake.

Pecatonica River Water Trail - Northwestern IL - click here

Kayakers and canoers in Northwestern Illinois have a beautiful river to paddle in the meandering Pecatonica. Riverkeepers have outline eight different trips along the river of varying lengths, which can be combined to create completely individual experiences for any paddler.

These outlined trips are all part of a planned 58 mile Pecatonica River Water Trail. Already there are great signs that the planners and developers are doing it right - and the 7.89 mile trip from McConnell Bobtown Landing to McNeil's/Damascus Landing, has already been declared Illinois Friendliest Paddle (see video below). This designation is due largely to the use of two of the best designed access docks anywhere. Both put in and take out have the EZ dock system which allows you to load and unload your boat without getting wet. These partially floating docks are designed to rise and fall as the river rises and falls.

A total of 11 current public access points make this an easy in and easy out paddle - though it is advisable to check the web site for current access point conditions.

Click here to find out more information about the Illinois Department of Natural Resources kayaking page.

Information includes kayaking and canoeing on the rivers, lakes and canals for: Rock River, Mackinaw River, Hennepin Canal, Pierce Lake, Kankakee River, Loon Lake, Beaver Lake, Middle Fork River, Fox River, Embarras River, Kaskaskia River and theLower Cache River,


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