Water Trails of Northeastern Illinois

Quiet Trips with Good Wildlife Viewing
By Gary Mechanic
  |  Gorp.com

The 4.5 mile section of the lower Des Plaines River [Map] between the Lemont Rd. Bridge and historic Isle La Cache offers several attractions. Wildlife abounds on the shore and river. Along the right bank of the first two miles of this stretch are Cook and Will County forest preserves. The take-out is at Romeo Rd. (135th St.) on the west side of Isle La Cache, one of the only islands in the river. It was used as a storage place by the first fur trappers and traders in this area over 200 years ago. A small historical museum on the site provides interpretation and an interesting destination at the end of this trip. Wayne at Will-U-Canoe will take you on 7 and 12 mile trips, or rent you a boat and all the gear. He'll drops you off and you picks up. All you have to bring is a hat and a good attitude. Call 877-937-4945

Small Nippersink Creek[Map] has been developed as a canoe trail by the McHenry County Conservation District. Five access sites create an 11.75 mile long watertrail. The first three sites are all within the Conservation District's largest site; Glacial Park. Put-in at the Keystone Rd. landing. The take-out is 4.75 miles downstream at the Pioneer Rd landing. Contact the McHenry County Conservation District at (815) 678-4431 for a map of the trail.

Disabled Accessible Trips

While no access to Little Calumet River [Map] has been developed as accessible , hard surfaced boat ramps make it possible for disabled paddlers to get from a wheelchair into and out of a boat. This is one stretch where there are adjacent ramps, no power boat use and no obstacles to portage.

A new canoe launch ramp South Holland's Gouwens Park begins a 7.5 mile trip to the Little Calumet Boat Ramp on one of the least traveled waterways of this region. Gouwens Park is on the west side of the Bishop Ford Freeway (I94) two blocks north of River Oaks Dr. (162nd St.). The take-out is on the right bank at the Cook County Forest Preserve's Little Calumet Boat Ramp on the east side of Ashland Avenue, on the north side of Jackson Avenue in Blue Island.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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