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Enjoy Illinois

Canoeing / Kayaking Opportunities  


Northwest Illinois (Region 1)

  • Castle Rock - Boat Ramp for public access to the Rock River for Canoe or Kayak, 3 miles of State Owned trails. Primitive canoe-in campground is available. Canoe access area is also available in the town of Grand De Tour about 5 miles south of the park. A trip to Lowell Park (Dixon Park District) or Dixon Dam is approximately a 12 mile canoe trip from Castle Rock State Park. There are Day Use facilities at Lowell Park.
  • Mackinaw - Boat Ramp for public access to the Mackinaw River for Canoe or Kayak with 2 miles of State Owned trails.
  • Lowden Boat Ramp for public access to the Rock River for Canoe or Kayak, 20 miles of State Owned trails. It is recommended that you put in below the dam.
  • Hennepin Canal - Canoeing and Kayaking is available for 78 miles of the canal. The waters are calm so back and arm power are required. The many locks are no longer operational and must be portaged (from Lock 21 east is particularly tough). For a great 1-2 day trip, begin at Rock Falls and continue to the Visitor Center.
  • Rock Cut - Canoeing and Kayaking is available on Pierce Lake. Rentals available.

Northeast Illinois (Region 2)

  • Channahon - Canoeists can paddle 15 miles of the canal between Channahon and Morris. The beautiful scenery between these two points may only be outshadowed by the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Kankakee River Canoes or Kayaks are allowed on 25 miles of the Kankakee River. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, and you must wear a life jacket .
  • Silver Springs - Kayaks and canoes are allowed at Silver Springs on Loon Lake or on the Fox River. No restrictions.

East - Central (Region 3)

  • Kickapoo - Canoeing or Kayaking is available on 12 different lakes.
  • Middle Fork - Public parking and canoe or kayak access to the Middle Fork River is provided at two locations. The Kinney's Ford access is located in the northern section of the facility and may be reached by driving one-half mile west of the 2620N/900E intersection. The Bunker Hill canoe access may be reached by driving east on the facility's south access road located at 2250N/900E. The west entrance bridge at Kickapoo State Park provides a canoe take-out point for these access areas. Camping is prohibited along the river, except in designated campgrounds.
  • Fox Ridge - There are two canoe or kayak launches, one north and one south provides a five mile trip on the Embarras River.

West - Central (Region 4)

  • Peabody River King - Boat Ramp for public access to the Kaskaskia River for canoes or kayaks.
  • Kaskaskia River - Boat Ramps for public access to Kaskaskia River for canoes or kayaks. Canoers should also be aware of barge traffic on the river and at lock and dam site at the mouth of the river.
  • Sanganois - Boat Ramps are available for public access for canoeing or kayaking. No canoeing from one week prior to waterfowl season until February 1st.

South (Region 5)

  • Cache River - The Lower Cache River Trail offers paddlers a quality canoe or kayak experience, 3 to 6 miles in length, through magnificent cypress-tupelo swamp.

Parks & Recreation

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