pat_exp_trips

Paddle-A-Trail Month
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Experienced Paddlers Recommended Trips

paddler on the Fox

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Please respect the privacy of non-public riparian (riverside) landowners—no landing on private property.

Watertrail

Miles

North Branch, Chicago River


Skokie Lagoons (Willow Rd.) to Linne Woods (Dempster)
Put-In: On the west side of Forest Preserve Drive just north of Willow Rd. in Winnetka. Park along Forest Preserve Drive and walk west to the dam. Put-in on stairs on downstream side of the Skokie Lagoons Control Dam or by small control dam in creek next to stairs.

Take-Out: Linne Woods Forest Preserve is on the north side of Dempster Street. approximately one mile west of I94 (Edens Expressway) in Morton Grove. The unimproved take-out at Linne Woods Forest Preserve is on river left just before Dempster St.

6.20

North Shore Channel


Oakton St. Boat Launch to the Wilmette Locks (Round Trip)
Put-In and Take-out: The entrance to the Skokie Park District's Dammrich Rowing Center is located on the north side of Oakton Street (8000 N.) just east of the North Shore Channel in Skokie.

7.70

Oakton St. Boat Launch to River Park
Put-In:
The entrance to the Dammrich Rowing Center is located on the north side of Oakton Street (8000 N.) just east of the North Shore Channel in Skokie.

Take-Out: The River Park Canoe Launch is just north of Argyle St. (5000 N.) on the west side of the river just downstream of the small dam in Chicago.

Note - HAZARD: Two miles downstream of the put-in is the Devon Aeration Station. During warm weather the aeration station injects air into the channel through manifolds on the bottom of both sides the channel causing turbulent and aerated water. When the station is operating, passing through the aerated water can be hazardous to paddlers without experience and skills paddling in "whitewater" and strong currents. The aerated water is less buoyant and will cause boats and bodies (even those wearing a personal floation device) to float lower in the water. Use extreme caution when passing through the aeration station while it is operating. The station improves water quality in this man-made and sluggish waterway by increasing the levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.

3.78

Little Calumet


Veterans Park to Gouwens Park
Put-In:
The entrance to Veterans Park is located on the west side of Burnham Ave. about one block north of 170th St. between Calumet City and Lansing. The unimproved put-in is between the parking lot and the historic pioneer log cabin preserved in the park on the east side of the river.

Take-Out: The Gowens Park canoe launch is on river left just past the Bishop Ford Freeway (I94) in South Holland. The entrance to Gowens Park is on the east side of Woodlawn Ave. just north of 170th St. Turn east off of Woodlawn onto Seton Drive and follow it east and north to the park.

4.00

Gouwens Park to Little Calumet Boat Launch
Put-In: The Gowens Park canoe launch is on river left (south side) just past the Bishop Ford Freeway (I94) in South Holland. The entrance to Gowens Park is on the east side of Woodlawn Ave. just north of 170th St. Turn east onto Seton Drive and follow it east and north to the park.

Take-Out: The Little Calumet Boat Launch is on river right just past the I57 and Ashland Ave. bridges. Enter the Little Calumet Boat Launch Forest Preserve on the north side of Jackson St. (134th St.) just east of Ashland Ave. between Blue Island and Riverdale.

7.00

Des Plaines River


Wadsworth Road to the Gowe Park Canoe Launch
Put-In:
The Wadsworth Road Canoe Launch is on the east side of the river 0.4 miles east of Route 41 on the south side of Wadsworth Road in Wadsworth.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left approximately 1/3 mi. downstream of the Rt. 132 bridge in Gurnee. The entrance to Gowe Memorial Park is at the west end of McClure Ave. which is one block south of Grand Ave. (Rt. 132) on the west side of Oplaine Rd.

Note: Approximately two mi. downstream of the put-in there are two cable dams that may require portages as the river passes through the Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project. This stretch may also have numerous other natural logjams and obstructions requiring portages.

6.25

Gowe Park Canoe Launch to Independence Grove Forest Preserve Canoe Launch
Put-In: The entrance to Gowe Memorial Park is at the west end of McClure Ave. which is one block south of Grand Ave. (Rt. 132) on the west side of Oplaine Rd.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left just downstream of the footbridge in Independence Grove FP. Enter Independence Grove on the north side of Peterson Rd. (Rt. 137) 0.4 mi. east of Milwaukee Ave. (Rt. 21)

5.10

Rivershire Park Canoe Launch to Dam #1
Put-In: The put-in at Rivershire Park is located on the west side of Londonderry Lane in Lincolnshire approximately one mile south of Rt. 22 (Half Day Rd.)

Take-Out: Dam #1 is located on the east side of Milwaukee Ave. at Hintz Road in Wheeling. Take-out on river right just upstream of the dam.

Note - HAZARD: Approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the Rivershire Park is the Ryerson Dam. This sheet piling dam can be portaged on either side of the river.

5.90

Allison Woods Canoe Launch to the Dempster St. Dam
Put-In:
Allison Woods Canoe Launch is located on the west side of Milwaukee Ave. (Route 21) on the south side of the river approximately 1/2 mi. south of Palatine Road in Mt. Prospect.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left just downstream of the Dempster St. bridge. Access to the dam is on the west side of Campground Rd. just south of Dempster St. in Des Plaines.

6.25

Dempster St. Dam to the Irving Park Road Canoe Launch
Put-In: The put-in is on the east side of the river just downstream of the Dempster St. bridge. Access to the dam is on the west side of Campground Rd. just south of Dempster St. in Des Plaines.

Take-Out: The Irving Park Road Canoe Launch is on river right just upstream of the Irving Pk. Rd. bridge. Access to the Irving Park Road Canoe Launch is on the east side of River Road just north of Irving Park Road in Schiller Park.

Note - HAZARD: Between Dempster and Irving Park Road there are two dams. The Park Ridge dam is approximately 1/4 mi. downstream of the Tri-State Tollway (I294) bridge. Portage on river right. Dam #4 is 1/5 mi. downstream of the Devon Ave. bridge. Portage at the canoe chute on the dam on river right.

7.70

Irving Park Road Canoe Launch to Chicago Avenue
Put-In: The Irving Park Road Canoe Launch is on river right just upstream of the Irving Pk. Rd. bridge. Access to the Irving Park Road Canoe Launch is on the east side of River Road just north of Irving Park Road in Schiller Park.

Take-Out: The unimproved landing at Chicago Ave. is on river left approximately 0.15 mi. downstream of the Chicago Ave. bridge.

Note - HAZARD: Between the Irving Park Road Canoe Launch and Chicago Ave. is the Armitage St. dam. Portage the dam at the canoe chute on the right side of the dam.


6.30

Chicago Avenue to the Plank Road Meadow Boat Ramp
Put-In: Park in the parking lot just west of the Trailside Museum on the south side of Chicago Ave. just west of Thatcher Road in River Forest.

Take-Out: The Plank Road Meadow Boat Ramp is on river right approximately 200 ft. downstream of the Salt Creek confluence with the Des Plaines River in Lyons. Enter Plank Road Meadow Forest Preserve on the north side of Ogden Ave. (Rt. 34) just west of 1st Avenue.

Note: Do not paddle past the Plank Road Meadow Boat Ramp! Approximately 2/3 mi. downstream of the Boat Ramp is the Hofmann Dam. There is no possible take-out on river right and no legal portage around the dam on river left. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN THIS 12 FOOT HIGH DANGEROUS DAM!

6.30

Stony Ford Canoe Launch to the Columbia Woods Canoe Launch
Put-In: Stony Ford Canoe Launch is on the south side of Joliet Road just west of the river in Lyons.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river right approximately 1/2 mi. downstream of the Willow Springs Road bridge in Willow Springs. Access to Columbia Woods is on the west side of Willow Springs Road just north of the river in Willow Springs.

Note: Most of this portion of the Des Plaines River is actually the Des Plaines River Diversion Channel. This wide man-made channel was created to move the Des Plaines River over to the north side of the Des Plaines Valley to make room for the Sanitary and Ship Canal.

7.20

Columbia Woods Canoe Launch to Lemont Road
Put-In: Columbia Woods is on the west side of Willow Springs Road just north of the river in Willow Springs.

Take-Out: The unimproved landing is on river left just upstream of the Lemont Road bridge. To get to the unimproved access turn west off of Lemont Road just north of the river and enter Old Lemont Rd. Drive south over the river to Canal Bank Rd. Turn left, pass under Lemont Rd. and turn left (north) and drive up the dirt road on the east side of the bridge to park.

6.85

Brandon Street Lock & Dam to McKinley Woods
Put-In: Put-in on the south side of the Brandon St. Lock on the west side of Brandon Road approximately 0.15 mi. south of Channahon Rd. (Rt. 6) in Rockdale.

Take-Out: The unimproved take-out at McKinley Woods Forest Preserve is on river right at the stone overlook. The entrance to McKinley Woods Forest Preserve is at the south end of McKinley Road approximately 2 mi. south of Rt. 6 in Channahon.

Note - HAZARD: Use extreme caution when putting in below the Brandon St. Lock. When the lock is operation the discharge from the lock can raise the water level quickly and produce strong currents as the water in the lock chamber is discharged below the lock. There are also barges and towboats on this section. Keep well clear of the towboats and their sterns where the powerful propellers create strong and turbulent currents.

11.44

Salt Creek


Busse Lake Dam to Cricket Creek FP
Put-In: The unimproved put-in is on the beach on the east side of the creek just below the dam. Access the dam by entering Busse Woods Forest Preserve on the west side of Arlington Heights Road at Edgeware Rd. in Elk Grove Village. Turn left at the first road and take the footpath at the south end of the first parking lot. Walk west on the footpath about 1000 ft. to the dam.

Take-Out: The unimproved take-out is on river left just upstream of the Fullerton Ave. bridge. Enter Cricket Creek Forest Preserve on the north side of Fullerton Ave. in Villa Park. Put-in just west of the north end of the parking lot.

Note: There is one small dam that must be portaged at the south end of the Oak Meadows Golf Course just past the fifth golf course footbridge over the creek.

8.70

York Road to the Plank Road Meadow Boat Ramp
Put-In:
The unimproved put-in is on the south side of the creek, on the north side of the Graue Mill parking lot on the east side of York Road in Oak Brook.

Take-Out: The take-out on this trip is on the Des Plaines River just 200 feet downstream of the confluence of Salt Creek with the Des Plaines on river right at the Plank Road Meadow Boat Ramp in Lyons. Enter Plank Rd. Meadow Forest Preserve on the north side of Ogden Ave. (Rt. 34) just east of 1st Avenue.

10.50

DuPage, West Branch


McDowell Grove Forest Preserve to Pioneer Park (Falwell dam portage)
Put-In: Enter McDowell Grove Forest Preserve on the east side of Raymond Drive at McDowell Drive in Naperville. The Canoe Launch is on the north side of the first parking area.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river right near the footbridge over the river. The unimproved access in Pioneer Park is located on the east side of Washington Street between Tamarack Ave. and Clyde Drive in Naperville.

Note - HAZARD: Approximately 1000 feet downstream of the put-in at McDowell Grove is the McDowell Grove dam. Portage on river left. About 3/4 mi. downstream of the McDowell dam is the large Fawell dam. Do not attempt to pass through the culverts that pass through the dam as there can be unseen obstructions at the bottom end of the culverts. Take-out above the dam on river right and portage over the dam. The river then passes through Naperville's picturesque Centennial Park and Riverwalk.

4.90

DuPage River


Knoch Knolls Park to the Eaton Preserve Canoe Launch
Put-In: Knoch Knolls Park is located on the south side of Knoch Knolls Road in Naperville. The unimproved access is located near the south end of the Knoch Knolls Park parking lot.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left just past the Pilcher Rd. (135th St.) bridge. Enter Eaton Preserve on the south side of Pilcher Rd. approximately 0.7 mi. east of Rt. 59 in Plainfield.

6.85

Eaton Preserve Canoe Launch to Riverside Parkway Canoe Launch
Put-In: Enter Eaton Preserve on the south side of Pilcher Rd. approximately 0.7 mi. east of Rt. 59 in Plainfield.

Take-Out: The take-out is approximately 0.7 mi. downstream of the Caton Farm Rd. bridge. To access the Canoe Launch enter the frontage road on the south side of Caton Farm Rd. just west of I55 in Joliet. Drive approximately 1/4 mi. south to the Canoe Launch entrance on the west side of the frontage road.

7.75

Hammel Woods dam to Channahon dam
Put-In: The entrance to Hammel Woods Forest Preserve is on the east side of Rt. 59 approximately 0.65 mi. north of Rt. 52 in Shorewood. Drive south on the Hammel Woods access road to the last parking lot. Follow the footpath at the east end of the parking lot across the small footbridge to the put-in just downstream of the dam.

Take-Out: Take-out on river left just before the Channahon dam. The dam is located in the Channahon State Park. Access to the Park is at the west end of Story Street approximately 0.4 mi. south of Rt. 6 in Channahon.

Note: Channahon State Park is the site of two of the I&M Canal locks and the restored locktender's house. The park provides opportunities for picnicking, tent camping, fishing and canoeing.

9.50

Fox River


Weber Park to Fox River Preserve and Marina
Put-In: Weber Park is located on the west side of the river about a block and a half north of Rt. 120 in McHenry. It is on the east side of Riverside Dr. just south of Broad St.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left approximately 1.5 mi. downstream from the Rawson Rd. bridge. The entrance to Fox River Preserve and Marina is located on the south side of Roberts Road 2 mi. west of Route 59 in Lake Barrington.

Note: Approximately 2.75 miles downstream of Weber Park is the McHenry Dam & Lock located in Morraine Hills State Park. Portage the dam on river left.

9.70

Fox River Preserve and Marina to Riverfront Park
Put-In: The entrance to Fox River Preserve and Marina is located on the south side of Roberts Road 2 mi. west of Route 59 in Lake Barrington.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river right about 1,000 feet upstream of the Algonquin Road bridge (Rt. 62) in Algonquin. Riverfront Park is located just east of the intersection of Harrison and Edward Streets.

9.00

Kimball St. dam to Jon Duerr Forest Preserve Canoe Launch
Put-In:
Put-in on the east side of the river just downstream of the Kimball St. dam in Elgin. Park in the parking lot on the south side of Kimball Street on the west side of Grove St.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left which, at this point, is on the north side on the river. The entrance to the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve Canoe Launch (formerly known as Blackhawk Forest Preserve) is located on the south side of Route 31 about 1/2 mi. east of McLean Blvd. in South Elgin.

Note - HAZARD: Approximately 3.5 miles downstream of the put-in is the South Elgin dam. Portage the dam on river right.

5.65

Geneva dam to Glenwood Park Forest Preserve
Put-In:
The put-in is on the east side of the river on north side of the State Street (Rt. 38) bridge. Park in the parking lot on the north side of State St. just west of Bennett St. (Rt. 25) in Geneva.

Take-Out: The unimproved take-out is on river left approximately 1,000 feet downstream of the old South Batavia dam. Glenwood Park Forest Preserve is located on the west side of South River Street (Rt. 25) approximately 1.35 mi. south of Wilson Street in Batavia.

Note - HAZARD: Approximately 2.3 mi. downstream of the put-in is the Batavia dam. Portage the dam on river right.

3.85

Glenwood Park Forest Preserve to Illinois Ave. Boat Launch
Put-In: The unimproved put-in is in Glenwood Park which is located on the west side of South River Street (Rt. 25) approximately 1.35 mi. south of Wilson Street in Batavia. About 2 miles downstream portage around the North Aurora dam on river right (west side).

Take-Out: The take-out is on the west side of the Veteran's Memorial Park island just south of Illinois Ave. in Aurora.

4.80

Violet Patch Park to the Yorkville dam
Put-In: Violet Patch Park is located on the east side of the river on the west side of East River Road in Oswego.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river left just upstream of the dam in Yorkville. The Yorkville Canoe Launch is located in Yorkville's Bicentennial Riverfront Park.  The park is located on the south side of the Fox River on north side of Hydraulic Street in Yorkville a little less than 1/4 mi. east of Route 47.

7.55

Yorkville dam to Shuh Shuh Gah Canoe Launch
Put-In: Put-in on the south side of the river below the Yorkville dam in Yorkville.

Take-Out: The take-out is on river right approximately 2.2 miles downstream of Silver Springs State Park (on river left). The entrance to Shuh Shuh Gah Canoe Launch is located at Whitfield Road and Rogers Road.

7.1

Lake Michigan - all reaches on the entire Illinois shore



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