Where Can You Kayak in Illinois?

Kayaking is a popular recreational activity that offers a unique and thrilling way to explore the outdoors. If you’re in Illinois and looking for some great kayaking spots, you’re in luck!

Illinois is home to a plethora of beautiful waterways that offer picturesque views and challenging rapids for both beginners and experienced kayakers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best places to kayak in Illinois.

1. Chicago River

The Chicago River is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Illinois, offering stunning views of the city skyline as you paddle down its calm waters. You can rent a kayak from various rental companies located along the river, or bring your own kayak and launch it from one of the many access points along the riverbank. The river also offers guided tours for those who want to learn more about Chicago’s history and architecture.

2. Fox River

The Fox River is another great option for kayakers in Illinois, offering scenic views of wildlife and nature as you paddle through its winding waters. The river spans over 200 miles from Wisconsin all the way down to Ottawa, Illinois, making it an ideal spot for multi-day kayaking trips. You’ll encounter various rapids along the way, ranging from Class I to Class III, so be sure to bring your A-game!

3. Lake Michigan

If you’re up for a challenge, consider kayaking on Lake Michigan – one of North America’s five Great Lakes! Lake Michigan is vast and can be intimidating for beginners, but it offers some incredible views and paddling experiences that are hard to come by elsewhere. You can launch your kayak from numerous beaches located along the lakefront or book a guided tour with an experienced kayaker.

4. Sangamon River

The Sangamon River is another great option for kayakers in Illinois, offering a serene paddling experience through the heart of central Illinois. The river is relatively calm and slow-moving, making it perfect for beginners and families with kids. You’ll encounter various wildlife along the way, including eagles, herons, and beavers.

5. Kankakee River

The Kankakee River is a popular kayaking destination located in Northeastern Illinois, offering a thrilling paddling experience through its Class II and III rapids. You can launch your kayak from numerous access points located along the riverbank or book a guided tour with an experienced kayaker. The river also offers some great fishing opportunities for those who want to catch some smallmouth bass or northern pike.

In Conclusion

Illinois is home to many great kayaking spots that offer breathtaking views and challenging paddling experiences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there’s something for everyone in Illinois’ beautiful waterways. So grab your kayak, put on your life jacket, and hit the water!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet