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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: northern Illinois / southern
      Who’s paddling and where in Illinois?     

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giddyup
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06/17/2020 10:08PM
Just curious where others are finding to paddle in Illinois this year.

My paddle partners and I did 49 miles of the Illinois River a couple of weeks ago. Our goal was 100 miles in one day but we called it for safety reasons with high winds and very choppy waters and night time approaching. We’re trying a redo of the same route (Havana to Hardin) in a couple of weeks. We did 143 miles/3 days on the Wabash River that borders Illinois and Indiana about a month ago. It rained two of the three days but overall it was a pretty fun trip. The Asian carp were plentiful and entertaining. (Unfortunately)

Where is everyone else finding to paddle? We need some suggestions for new scenery.
 
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06/24/2020 12:07AM
I've been mostly sticking to the neighborhood pond, although I'm hoping to get a group of Scouts who are going with me to the BWCA later in July to do a section of the Des Plaines.
 
fishEH
member (37)member
 
06/24/2020 12:20PM
Just got back from BWCA. I'm starting to plan a couple day trip to the Kickapoo in WI.
 
06/26/2020 03:33PM
Haven't gotten out much except to local forest preserve lakes. Hoping to hit up the DuPage sometime soon. I live about 5 minutes from the drop-in at Knoch Knolls park. Heading south from there to Riverview Farmstead makes for a nice afternoon.
 
fishEH
member (37)member
 
06/29/2020 10:27PM
Decided to hit Nippersink Creek for the first time with my 15yo daughter on Saturday. Creek was way high and running fast with all the rain we got on Friday. Less than ideal canoe conditions. We got stuck on one tree where my daughter's hair got caught in the branches. She dropped her paddle and it was quickly whisked away. We thought we would be able to chase it down but it disappeared into the brush. With the fast water and amount of maneuvering required to avoid obstacles, we found ourselves wedged against a big log. Water came in over the side and we found ourselves swamped. We were both wearing lifejackets and were able to grab onto the canoe. We paddled towards shore where we could stand and unswamp the canoe. Unfortunately my work iPhone was gone.

One paddle and one iPhone, but great memories LOL!!!
 
06/30/2020 04:59PM
Glad you lived to tell the tale! Which section of the nip did you take?

Two years ago I took a Scout group through the part from Lyle park to the canoe base, ignoring the sign about the log jam. That was an interesting portage to sort out.
 
fishEH
member (37)member
 
07/01/2020 12:27PM
We paddled from Keystone to Lyle C Thompson park. We didn't go to the canoe base because of the log jam. I can't believe its been there for 2 years!!! I saw on McHenry County's website that "they don't clear debris from private property", but can't they cut the logs out of the way whilst in a canoe and not going on their property?? I spoke with people going all the way to the canoe base that seemed familiar with the blockage. They stated you just had to portage around. If the county can't clear the blockage due to private property, isn't the portage trail around also on private property??? Seems weird.

mirth: "Glad you lived to tell the tale! Which section of the nip did you take?


Two years ago I took a Scout group through the part from Lyle park to the canoe base, ignoring the sign about the log jam. That was an interesting portage to sort out."
 
07/06/2020 03:05PM
Did the Des Plaines from Russell to Wadsworth last Friday with my Scout group prepping to go to the BWCA in a couple weeks. Had no issues on this stretch at all. It's tight navigating the opening around the large deadfall but completely doable to scoot a canoe through there. If you're in a group, definitely hang out in the eddy while letting the next boat completely clear the pinch before proceeding.
 
giddyup
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07/09/2020 10:45PM
Just an update, my paddle partners and I did complete our 100 miles on the Illinois River (Havana to Hardin) on the second attempt a couple of weeks ago. Much less wind the second time around and no barges to contend with but a little warmer than the previous attempt. We made the trip in 19 hours, with one stop of 20-30 minutes out of the canoe.

Yesterday we did 65 miles (Pekin to Beardstown) with no out of the canoe time in about 13 hours. It was a miserably hot and humid day, with very little current to help. It was a pretty rough paddle but always feels like an accomplishment when it’s over. ;))
 
Blatz
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07/15/2020 01:05PM
I did the the Des Plaines yesterday. Started in Libertyville. Stronger current than I was expecting. Averaged 6.5 mph down stream and 3.5 going back upstream. Nice part is the river is wide enough in that stretch to avoid log jams.
 
AdamXChicago
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07/15/2020 05:51PM
Blatz: "I did the the Des Plaines yesterday. Started in Libertyville. Stronger current than I was expecting. Averaged 6.5 mph down stream and 3.5 going back upstream. Nice part is the river is wide enough in that stretch to avoid log jams."
How far downstream did you get?
 
Blatz
distinguished member(1447)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/15/2020 07:00PM
AdamXChicago: "Blatz: "I did the the Des Plaines yesterday. Started in Libertyville. Stronger current than I was expecting. Averaged 6.5 mph down stream and 3.5 going back upstream. Nice part is the river is wide enough in that stretch to avoid log jams."
How far downstream did you get?"
4 miles down, 4 miles back. I only had a couple of hours
 
HowardSprague
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09/12/2020 11:16AM
bfurlow: "Haven't gotten out much except to local forest preserve lakes. Hoping to hit up the DuPage sometime soon. I live about 5 minutes from the drop-in at Knoch Knolls park. Heading south from there to Riverview Farmstead makes for a nice afternoon. "

How long of a paddle is that, and do you generally get a second vehicle to shuttle back from there? Looking on googlemaps, looks like it might be fun.
 
09/13/2020 04:13PM
HowardSprague: "bfurlow: "Haven't gotten out much except to local forest preserve lakes. Hoping to hit up the DuPage sometime soon. I live about 5 minutes from the drop-in at Knoch Knolls park. Heading south from there to Riverview Farmstead makes for a nice afternoon. "


How long of a paddle is that, and do you generally get a second vehicle to shuttle back from there? Looking on googlemaps, looks like it might be fun."

If I remember right, it was a an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours? We did not have a shuttle when we did it and ended up paddling back upstream to Knoch Knolls again. A couple friends have used two cars, parked one at Riverview and then took the other with boats back to Knoch Knolls. I would recommend this as the current was flowing so that made for a little more exertion than I was looking for. :)
I recommend doing it - it's much prettier than I expected and some of the water was crystal clear. I saw more fish on that paddle than I expected by a long shot. Lots of Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers, and other wildlife to be spotted. I would double check water levels before you try to canoe down there, a couple of spots were a bit shallow and we scraped the rocks a bit. Probably OK if paddling a Kayak, but I winced every time in my canoe. I knew I was fine because mine is Tuf-Weave, but that sound is never pleasant.
 
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