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Itineraries

Paddle Mitchell Park  

Mitchell Park-North Canoe Access to Mitchell Park-South Canoe Access      
River miles:
186.92 to 186.14  

Distance:
0.78 miles  

Approximate time:
20 – 30 minutes  

Difficulty:
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None

Put In:
A parking lot is located at Mitchell Park-North Canoe Access, across from the Little League fields. Follow a paved path and boardwalk leading to a cement carry-in access site and a wooden launch structure.  

Along the Way:
Paddle Mitchell Park is an easy introductory paddle on the Fox River. The river winds through a large wetland and is perfect for small recreational kayaks and canoes. The distance is less than a mile point to point, and would make a great trip for beginners and children. One can paddle upstream of Mitchell Park-North Canoe Access, until reaching West Capitol Drive. Capitol Drive has high traffic volume, and no portage is recommended. Both access sites are located a short walk through Mitchell Park from each other, so there may not be a need to have a shuttle vehicle at the take out.  

Take Out:
Look for a wooden dock on the east bank of the river. The Mitchell Park-South Canoe Access site is a 300ft walk to Mitchell Park Drive, and the parking lots at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.  

Other Segment Info:
Mitchell Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin Fact Sheet
Mitchell Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin Map  
Waukesha County Tourism
Brookfield to Waukesha

Mitchell Park-South Canoe Access to Frame Park
River miles:
186.14 to 177.84  

Distance:
8.30 miles  

Approximate time:
2.5 – 3.5 hours  

Difficulty:
Moderate to hard  

Portages:
Yes  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park near Mitchell Park Drive in the south end of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts parking lot. Cross Mitchell Park Drive and follow a foot path approximately 300ft to the Mitchell Park-South Canoe Access site. This is a carry-in launch site with both a soft ramp and a small wooden launch structure.  

Along the Way:
Brookfield to Waukesha is one of the longer paddling trips on the FRWT and there are multiple portages across lightly trafficked roads. Though the Fox River flows relatively easy along this segment, the difficulty is rated moderate to hard due to the distance travelled.  

After putting in at Mitchell Park-South Canoe Access, the river winds through the wetlands of Mitchell Park for 0.7 miles before reaching the first obstruction. A boardwalk crosses the river with low clearance underneath. There is no formal path through the marsh grass, making this a difficult portage. The river then flows for only 0.1 miles before the next portage at River Road. The banks for this portage are much easier than the last and traffic is not usually heavy.  

South of River Road, the Fox River winds lazily through the Brookfield Fox River Conservancy. This is an excellent stretch for birding. The river crosses North Avenue and Barker Road. There is a gravel shoulder at both of these bridges, but no designated parking or access sites. These should be considered emergency access only. After Barker Road, the Fox River widens with the influence of Poplar Creek from the south. The river crosses Springdale Road and the banks become much more forested. Fallen trees may become obstacles through this section. There is another potential portage before reaching the Interstate 94 bridge. A private drive crosses the river 200 feet upstream of I94, and clearance depends on river conditions.  

Just over a half mile downstream of I94, the Pewaukee River meets the Fox and the river again widens. Continue downstream, under multiple bridges, until you reach Moreland Boulevard and Frame Park in Waukesha. The Barstow Dam creates an artificial lake, Saratoga Lake, at Frame Park.  

Take Out:
The Frame Park boat launch is located on the east bank at the south end of Frame Park, and is a developed, trailerable launch site with a dock. There are a number of other docks located on Saratoga Lake within a carry-in distance to parking.  

Note:
If you are continuing your trip from Frame Park, you must portage the Barstow Dam. The portage head is located on the west bank above the dam. There are “DAM” warning signs. Portage along the river walk, to the steps just below the dam. In high water conditions, you may need to put in further downstream.  

Other Segment Info:
Mitchell Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin Fact Sheet
Mitchell Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin Map
Frame Park, Waukesha, Wisconsin Facts
Saratoga Lake, WDNR Page
Waukesha County Tourism
Paddle Frame Park and Saratoga Lake

Frame Park to Barstow Dam
River miles:
177.84

Distance:
Varies  

Approximate time:
Varies  

Difficulty:
Easy  

Portages:
No  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the lot on the south end of the Waukesha Schuetze Rec Center building, located at 1120 Baxter St. The Frame Park boat launch is a developed, trailerable launch site with a dock. There are a number of other docks located on Saratoga Lake within a carry-in distance to Frame Park parking.  

Along the Way:
Saratoga Lake is a 28 acre lake, created by the Barstow Dam on the Fox River. The average depth of the lake is 3-6 feet. The calm water makes for an excellent outing for kids and first time paddlers. High Roller Fun Rentals operates a seasonal boat and bike rental station in Frame Park, with canoes, kayaks, SUPs, paddle boats, and more.  

Take Out:
The Frame Park boat launch is located on the east bank at the south end of Frame Park, and is a developed, trailerable launch site with a dock. Park at the lot on the south end of the Waukesha Schuetze Rec Center building, located at 1120 Baxter St. There are a number of other docks located on Saratoga Lake within a carry-in distance to parking.  

Note:
If you are continuing your trip from Frame Park, you must portage the Barstow Dam. The portage head is located on the west bank above the dam. There are “DAM” warning signs. Portage along the river walk, to the steps just below the dam. In high water conditions, you may need to put in further downstream.  

Other Segment Info:
Frame Park, Waukesha, Wisconsin Facts
Saratoga Lake, WDNR Page
High Roller Fun Rentals  
Waukesha County Tourism
Downtown Waukesha and the Fox River Sanctuary

Frame Park/Barstow Dam to Fox River Greenway (Waukesha)
River miles:
177.84 to 173.46  

Distance:
4-4.5 miles  

Approximate time:
1-2 hours  

Difficulty:
Moderate  

Portages:
Depends on put it site  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the lot on the south end of the Waukesha Schuetze Rec Center building, located at 1120 Baxter St. The Frame Park boat launch is a developed, trailerable launch site with a dock. There are a number of other docks located on Saratoga Lake within a carry-in distance to Frame Park parking. Paddle across Saratoga Lake to the Barstow Dam portage on the west bank. There are “DAM” warning signs. Portage along the river walk, to the steps just below the dam. In high water conditions, you may need to put in further downstream.  

Alternative Put In #1:
The Grede Park carry-in site is located in Grede Park, on the corner of West St. Paul Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Waukesha. There are a small number of parking spaces in the park. River access is an undeveloped grassy slope on the west bank of the river.  

Alternative Put In #2:
Nearly across the river from Grede Park is the Bethesda Park access site. Park on Dunbar Avenue and carry-in to the river. Access is an undeveloped grassy slope on the east bank of the river. There are restrooms available at this site.  

Along the Way:
The distance of this trip depends on where one puts in, but the three access points in Downtown Waukesha are all within close proximity to each other. Also, water level may determine which launch is best for you.  

If starting at the Barstow Dam launch, the river can be high and fast or low and slow. It really depends on the amount of water flowing over the dam. The river through Downtown Waukesha is narrow and a river walk follows both banks. The bottom is comprised of large rocks, so mind shallow waters and damage to your boat. After 0.5 miles and a number of bridges, you will find the Grede Park launch on the west bank, and just downstream the Bethesda Park site. The river can still be shallow and rocky through the height of summer in this area.  

After leaving the Bethesda Park area, the Fox River crosses Prairie Avenue into the City of Waukesha Fox River Sanctuary. There is a US Geological Survey River Gauging Station in the park. From here, the river snakes its way southwest through heavily forested banks, out of the hustle and bustle of Waukesha. The volume and depth of the river increases as the scenery opens into a large wetland. Pebble Creek (a WDNR designated Class II Trout Stream) flows into the Fox and the river widens. This stretch is a haven for birds, and is also a muskrat superhighway. Around the bend from Pebble Creek is the Fox River Greenway (Waukesha) take out.  

Take Out:
The Fox River Greenway (Waukesha) is a gravel launch on the east bank of the river. The access site is approximately 300ft north of the Les Paul Parkway (WI State Hwy 59). There is a parking lot off of Fox River Parkway.   

Other Segment Info:
River Gauge at Prairie Avenue, Waukesha
Frame Park, Waukesha, Wisconsin Facts
Grede Park, Waukesha, Wisconsin Facts
Bethesda Park, Waukesha, Wisconsin Facts
Waukesha County Tourism  
Les Paul Parkway

Fox River Greenway (Waukesha) to Fox River (Waukesha)
River miles:
173.46 to 171.92  

Distance:
1.54 miles  

Approximate time:
45 minutes – 1hour  

Difficulty:
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
Yes
Put In:
Park at the lot Fox River Parkway and Waterview Lane. There is a gravel trail down to the Fox River Greenway (Waukesha) launch. The access site is on the east bank of the river, approximately 300ft north of the Les Paul Parkway (WI State Hwy 59) bridge.   

Along the Way:
The Les Paul Parkway segment is a short and easy paddle between two nicely maintained launch sites. From Fox River Greenway (Waukesha), the river is slow and wide, as it meanders through a large wetland. This quiet stretch is nice for children and beginners. Deep Pools are a treat for fishing, while herons and cranes walk the shallow banks.  

Take Out:
The Fox River Park (Waukesha) launch is on the east bank and is a cement landing down to the water. A path leads to the lower parking lot. The access site is located within Waukesha County’s Fox River Park. There is a fee for park use, including parking for river access. Fox River Park hours are sunrise to 10pm, year round.  

Other Segment Info:
Fox River Park, Waukesha County, Wisconsin Page  
Waukesha County Tourism
Town of Waukesha

Fox River Park (Waukesha) to CTH I Access Site
River miles:
171.92 to 166.94  

Distance:
4.98 miles  

Approximate time:
2-3 hours  

Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate  

Portages:
No  

Fees:
Yes
Put In:
The Fox River Park (Waukesha) access site is located within Waukesha County’s Fox River Park. There is a fee for park use, including parking for river access. Fox River Park hours are sunrise to 10pm, year round. A path leads from the lower parking lot to cement landing.  

Along the Way:
There is abundant opportunity for fishing, birding, or just enjoying a lazy paddle, as the Fox River zigzags though dozens of turns in the rural wetlands of the Town of Waukesha segment. There are no bridges after Fox River Park, an area that truly feels remote!  

Take Out:
The CTH I Access Site is located on the west bank of the Fox River, on the south side of the CTH I bridge. This site is an undeveloped dirt path to the river from a gravel shoulder parking area. This can be a steep take out for some. Additional parking on gravel shoulder along both sides of the road and bridge.  

Other Segment Info:
Fox River Park, Waukesha County, Wisconsin Page  
Waukesha County Tourism
I to ES

CTH I Access Site to CTH ES Access Site
River miles:
166.94 to 160.50

Distance:
6.44 miles  

Approximate time:
3-4 hours  

Difficulty:
Moderate to Hard  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None  
Put In:
The CTH I Access Site is located on the west bank of the Fox River, on the south side of the CTH I bridge. This site is an undeveloped dirt path to the river from a gravel shoulder parking area. This can be a steep put in for some. Additional parking on gravel shoulder along both sides of the road and bridge.  

Along the Way:
Soon after the I to ES trip begins, the river quickly opens up into the wide wetlands of the 4,655-acre Vernon Wildlife Area. Pebble Brook and Mill Brook add to the river volume, and you’ll soon lose sight of dry land, just as the current slows to a trickle. Come prepared, because this trip requires some paddling stamina. Given the Fox River reach is in North-South orientation, and no forest canopy, be aware of wind direction and speeds. South winds exceeding 15mph can make this a difficult paddle. This trip is popular with birding enthusiasts, as the Vernon Marsh is used by many migrating and nesting birds. Note that there is regular waterfowl hunting in the area during season. The Fox River narrows as it leaves the marsh and follows a rail line before turning southeast toward CTH ES.  

Take Out:
The CTH ES Access Site is on the east bank. It is a wide gravel and dirt ramp down to the water from CTH ES. There is a large gravel parking area along CTH ES.  

Other Segment Info:
Vernon Wildlife Area WDNR Page  
Waukesha County Tourism
Paddle Vernon Marsh  

Vernon Marsh (North) to Vernon Marsh (South)
River miles:
165.79 to 163.15  

Distance:
2.64 miles  

Approximate time:
1.5 – 2.5 hours  

Difficulty:
Moderate  

Portages:
No  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Take Oakdale Drive to Benson Avenue. Follow Benson over the railroad tracks to a gravel parking lot. The Vernon Marsh (North) access site is one-quarter mile walk down the Vernon Marsh service road to the Fox River. This is an undeveloped carry-in site.  

Along the Way:
The long carry-in points make this trip seem much harder than the current flows. Both sites require a small hike. This trip is popular with birding enthusiasts, as the Vernon Marsh is used by many migrating and nesting birds. Because the water velocities are very slow in this reach, this segment is an incredible section for stand up paddle boarding. This itinerary assumes one is putting in and taking out at separate points, but most just paddle out and back trips through the marsh. Note that there is regular waterfowl hunting throughout the Vernon Wildlife Area.  

Take Out:
Paddle west on a small channel, just upstream of the railroad bridge. The Vernon Marsh (South) access site is an approximate one mile walk down a service road and berm, south from the Frog Alley Road parking lots.  

Other Segment Info:
Vernon Wildlife Area WDNR Page  
Waukesha County Tourism
ES past the Mukwonago

CTH ES Access Site to Center Drive Access Site
River miles:
160.50 to 155.53

Distance:
4.97 miles  

Approximate time:
2-3 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the large grave lot north of the CTH ES bridge. The CTH ES Access Site is a wide gravel and dirt ramp down to the water.  

Along the Way:
As you run the Fox River, ES past the Mukwonago, you’ll be in good company. A half mile into the trip, the Mukwonago River meets the Fox. The Mukwonago River is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in Wisconsin. These waters mix before the river goes under Interstate 43, snaking east through a large network of wetlands.  It is important to note that this segment is a popular run for jet skiers.  

Take Out:
The Center Drive Access Site lands just before the Center Drive bridge. This carry-in site is a gravel slope with gravel shoulder parking on both sides of the road.  

Other Segment Info:
Mukwonago River WDNR Page
Friends of the Mukwonago River  
Waukesha County Tourism
Center Drive to Big Bend

Center Drive Access Site to Big Bend Riverside Park
River miles:
155.53 to 153.11

Distance:
2.43 miles  

Approximate time:
1 hour  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
Yes
Put In:
Park at the gravel shoulder spaces along Center Driver on the south side of the bridge. The Center Drive Access Site is a gravel slope to the river on the west side of Center Drive.  

Along the Way:
The Center Drive to Big Bend segment is an easy paddle along a meandering Fox River. The landscape is a mix of agriculture, forest, and wetlands. Edgewood Golf Course borders the river halfway through this paddle. It is important to note that this segment is a popular run for jet skiers.  

Take Out:
At the beginning of the “Big Bend”, the river borders Big Bend Village Park and the Big Bend Riverside Park access point. This paved boat launch and dock are a fee access site, with a daily fee drop box near the parking lot.  
Paddle Around the Big Bend

Center Drive Access Site to Fox River Greenway (Big Bend)
River miles:
155.53 to 151.80

Distance:
3.73 miles  

Approximate time:
1.5-2 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the gravel shoulder spaces along Center Driver on the south side of the bridge. The Center Drive Access Site is a gravel slope to the river on the west side of Center Drive.  

Along the Way:
This segment is an easy Paddle Around the Big Bend in the Fox River. Halfway through this route, you’ll find Big Bend Village Park and the Big Bend Riverside Park boat ramp. The take out is another 1.5 miles downstream of the Village of Big Bend. It is important to note that this segment is a popular run for jet skiers.  

Take Out:
The Fox River runs parallel to State Highway 164, and just as the river turns back west, the Fox River Greenway (Big Bend) access site appears. This launch is a wide dirt ramp and a gravel parking loop off of STH 164.  
Big Bend to Captain Missy’s

Fox River Greenway (Big Bend) to Captain Missy’s/Fox River Landing
River miles:
151.80 to 147.26

Distance:
4.54 miles  

Approximate time:
1.5-2 hours  

Difficulty: 
Moderate  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the gravel loop off of State Highway 164. The Fox River Greenway (Big Bend) access site is a dirt ramp leading to the river.  

Along the Way:
The Fox River leaves Big Bend and zigzags a dozen plus times along the Big Bend to Captain Missy’s route. The river winds through a mix of wetland and forest, with many private, residential piers along the river. At the end of this paddle, grab a beer and burger at Captain Missy’s tavern.  

Take Out:
Captain Missy’s/Fox River Landing is a private access point on the east bank of the Fox River. They own a large dock right on the river with a parking lot at the bar and grill. Captain Missy’s also offers canoe rentals, with a shuttle service available to the Big Bend access sites.  

Other Segment Info:
Captain Missy’s, (262) 662-3337, 8330 Fox River Rd, Waterford, WI  
Big Bend to Tichigan

Fox River Greenway (Big Bend) to Tichigan Lake Public Access
River miles:
151.80 to 146.48

Distance:
5.33 miles  

Approximate time:
2-3 hours  

Difficulty: 
Moderate  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the gravel loop off of State Highway 164. The Fox River Greenway (Big Bend) access site is a dirt ramp leading to the river.  

Along the Way:
The Big Bend to Tichigan segment is a nice long paddle, with the option to stop for lunch just over half way at Captain Missy’s. The Fox River winds through a mix of forest and wetlands, and there are many private, residential docks on the water.  

Take Out:
The WDNR Tichigan Lake Public Access boat ramp is located on the west bank of the Fox River, just before the river opens up into Tichigan Lake. This paved access point has a loading dock and multiple parking spaces. Mind larger boat traffic making their way downstream to Tichigan Lake.  

Other Segment Info:
Captain Missy’s, (262) 662-3337, 8330 Fox River Rd, Waterford, WI
Tichigan Lake WDNR Page  
Tichigan and Buena Lakes

Tichigan Lake Public Access to River City Marina or Huening Park
River miles:
146.48 to 141.65

Distance:
4.83 miles  

Approximate time:
2-3 hours  

Difficulty: 
Moderate  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
The parking lot for the WDNR Tichigan Lake Public Access boat ramp is located off of Conservation Drive. This paved access point has a loading dock and multiple parking spaces. Mind larger boat traffic making their way downstream to Tichigan Lake.  

Along the Way:
Within a mile of leaving the Tichigan Lake Public Access boat ramp, the Fox River widens as the Tichigan flowage floods the landscape. In some portions of this paddle, the river current disappears, and windy days will test your stamina.  But don’t be intimidated, because this segment is an anglers dream. There are abundant gamefish, as well as “fill your freezer” sunfish species.  

Follow the east bank to the end of the Tichigan peninsula. Watch for heavy boat traffic in this area. Continue following the river south. Buena Lake is a large flowage to the west. The Fox River narrows as it enters the Village of Waterford. There are many private residential piers on both sides of the river.  

As you get closer to downtown Waterford, the river forks. The River City Marina access point is down the east fork, and the Huening Park access point will be on the west fork.  

Take Out #1:
The River City Marina access point is a privately owned pier and ramp on the east bank of the Fox River, upstream of the eastern dam of the Waterford Impoundment. There is no fee for this access site, and parking is located along North Milwaukee Street.  

Take Out #2:
The Huening Park access site is located on the west bank of the Fox River and is a paved launch with a pier, upstream of the western dam of the Waterford Impoundment. This site is also accessible for those with disabilities. Trailered parking is available, and carry-in parking is available at the Waterford Village Hall.   

Note:
If you are continuing your trip from Huening Park, you must portage the Waterford Impoundment. Portage along the river walk to the Village Hall Park access site. This is just upstream of the West Main Street (State Highway 83) bridge, at the Waterford Village Hall.  

Other Segment Info:
Tichigan Lake WDNR Page
Buena Lake WDNR Page
Waterford Waterway Management District
River City Marina
Village of Waterford Page
River Gauge Above Waterford Dam  
Waterford Dam to Rochester Dam

Village Hall Park or River Bend Park to Pioneer Memorial Park or Case Eagle Park North
River miles:
141.54 to 139.37

Distance:
1.62 to 2.18  

Approximate time:
45 minutes-1 hour  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In #1:
Park at the Waterford Village Hall lot. The Village Hall Park access site is a paved ramp located on the back side of the Village Hall.  

Put In #2:
The River Bend Park access site is located on the south side of the West Main Street bridge, on the west bank of the Fox River. Park on the South River Street for this short carry-in access site. The launch is a gradual grassy slope.  

Along the Way:
The Waterford Dam to Rochester Dam trip is a nice easy paddle between these small communities. Just north of Rochester, the Wind Lake Canal adds volume to the river. Given this reaches North-South orientation, be aware of wind direction and speeds. South winds exceeding 15mph can make this a very difficult paddle. Fox River Paddle Sports operates a kayak rental business in Waterford at the Village Hall Park access site. They offer a shuttle service as well.  

Take Out #1:
Immediately after crossing under the East Main Street bridge in the Village of Rochester, on the western bank you will see Pioneer Memorial Park. The access site is a gradual grassy slope to the river. Park along North Browns Lake Drive.  

Take Out #2
The Case Eagle Park North access site is on the east bank of the Fox River, just upstream from the Rochester Dam. There is a parking lot near the dam.  

Note:
If you are continuing your trip from Case Eagle Park North, you must portage the Rochester Dam. Portage along the west bank, to the Case Eagle Park South access site.  

Other Segment Info:
Village of Waterford Page
Village of Rochester Parks
Fox River Paddle Sports  
River Rhythms
Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce
Racine County Tourist Info Real Racine CVB
See Case Eagle Park on Racine County Parks page
Rochester to Burlington

Case Eagle Park South to CTH W Access Site
River miles:
139.32 to 136.21

Distance:
3.11 miles  

Approximate time:
1-1.5 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the lot in Case Eagle Park, near the Jean Jacobson Dog Park. The Case Eagle Park South access site is on the east bank of the Fox River, just downstream from the Rochester Dam. This site is a carry-in site a short walk from parking.  

Optional Put In or Take Out:
For a shorter trip, 1.1 miles downstream from the Rochester Dam is the Saller Woods access site. Park in the lot off of State Highway 83. The launch is a gradual grassy slope carry-in site.  

Along the Way:
The Fox River along the Rochester to Burlington segment is wide and shallow. The river banks are forested, except where the river passes under State Highway 83. For a shorter trip, consider using the Saller Woods access site.  

Take Out:
The CTH W Access Site is located on the north bank and the east side of the Browns Lake Drive (CTH W) bridge. The launch is a gradual grassy slope to the river. Park on the gravel shoulder on the east side of the road.  

Other Segment Info:
Village of Rochester Parks  
Racine County Tourist Info Real Racine CVB
See Case Eagle Park on Racine County Parks page
The Backdoor into Burlington

CTH W Access Site to Riverside Park (Burlington)
River miles:
136.21 to 133.67

Distance:
2.54 miles  

Approximate Time:
1-1.5 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park on the gravel shoulder on the east side of Browns Lake Drive (CTH W), on the north side of the bridge. The CTH W Access Site launch is a gradual grassy slope to the river.  

Along the Way:
The Backdoor to Burlington is an easy paddle with forested banks. After passing the Browns Lake Golf Course, the Fox River takes a turn to the west and into the heart of Burlington.  

Take Out:
The Riverside Park (Burlington) access site is located on the north bank of the Fox River, and is a paved ramp to the water. This site is best suited for carry-in access due to steep drop from pavement to river. There is a parking lot along Congress Street.  

Other Segment Info:
City of Burlington Riverside Park Page
Racine County Tourist Info Real Racine CVB
Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce  
Downtown Burlington

Riverside Park (Burlington) to Bushnell Park
River miles:
133.67 to 132.55

Distance:
1.12 miles  

Approximate Time:
45 minutes  

Difficulty:
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park in the lot on Congress Street. The Riverside Park (Burlington) access site is a paved ramp to the water. This site is best suited for carry-in access due to steep drop from pavement to river.  

Along the Way:
Not long after setting off from the Riverside Park (Burlington) access site, the Fox River makes a hairpin turn to the southeast. The White River meets the Fox after spilling out of the Echo Lake Dam, and adds to the volume and current. The river passes under the Jefferson and State Street bridges as it leaves Downtown Burlington. The banks become forested and the river enters Bushnell Park.  

Take Out:
Look for a bike path bridge crossing the Fox River. The Bushnell Park access site is a grassy slope next to the bridge. Follow the paved path to a parking lot in Bushnell Park.  

Other Segment Info:
City of Burlington Riverside Park Page
City of Burlington Bushnell Park Page  
Racine County Tourist Info Real Racine CVB
Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce  
Bushnell Park to Hoosier Creek

Bushnell Park to Hoosier Creek Road Access Site
River miles:
132.55 to 127.76

Distance:
4.79 miles  

Approximate Time:
2-2.5 hours  

Difficulty: 
Moderate  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park in the lot on the west side of Bushnell Road (State Highway 142). Follow the paved path to the Bushnell Park access site. The launch is a grassy slope next to the bridge.  

Optional Put In:
The St. Mary’s Park -South access site is adjacent to the Burlington Dog Park on Calumet Street. There is a parking lot and the launch is an undeveloped slope to the water.  

Along the Way:
As the Fox River leaves Burlington, it works its way down forested river banks, flanked by the rural Wisconsin landscape. The diversity of fish species in the segment, including many game species, make this 5 mile float an anglers dream. A mile and a half upstream from the take out, Hoosier Creek joins the Fox.  

Take Out:
The Hoosier Creek Road Access Site falls just downstream of a point where the river runs adjacent to a rail line on the east bank. The site is a gravel and dirt ramp, and there is parking off the road. Hoosier Creek Road is a dead end road.  

Other Segment Info:
City of Burlington Bushnell Park Page
See Bushnell Park on Racine County Parks page 
Racine County Tourist Info Real Racine CVB
Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce  
Wheatland

CTH JB Access to 328th Avenue/CTH W
River miles:
127.22 to 124.33

Distance:
2.89 miles  

Approximate Time:
1-1.5 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park on the east side of the CTH JB bridge, on the south side of the road. The CTH JB Access site is a gravel ramp down to the water.  

Optional Put In:
Park in the gravel lot off of Hoosier Creek Road. Hoosier Creek Road is a dead end road. The Hoosier Creek Road Access Site is a gravel and dirt ramp down to the water.  

Along the Way:
This nearly three mile stretch of the Fox River is an easy paddle through the Town of Wheatland. The banks of the Wheatland segment are surrounded by farmland, and the last portion opens into the Fox floodplain. Add an extra half mile to this segment by starting at the Hoosier Creek Road Access Site.  

Take Out:
The 328th Avenue/CTH W access site is on the east bank of the river. The launch is a set of cement stairs down to the water. Parking in the gravel lot off of CTH W.  

Other Segment Info:
Kenosha County Fox River Trail Page  
Kenosha Tourism
New Munster and Silver Lake

328th Avenue/CTH W to Fox River Park (Silver Lake)
River miles:
124.33 to 118.63  

Distance:
5.70 miles  

Approximate time:
2-3 hours  

Difficulty: 
Moderate  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park at the gravel lot off of CTH W. The 328th Avenue/CTH W access site is on the east bank of the river. The launch is a set of cement stairs down to the water.  

Along the Way:
The New Munster and Silver Lake segment winds its way through the Fox River floodplain. For most of this journey, agriculture and wetlands are found on the west bank, and the community of Silver Lake on the east bank.  

Take Out:
After crossing under the Silver Lake Road bridge, Fox River Park is on the immediate western bank. The Fox River Park (Silver Lake) site is a concrete launch, with a paved parking lot at the launch.  

Other Segment Info:
Kenosha County Fox River Trail Page  
Kenosha Tourism
Wilmot

Fox River Park (Silver Lake) to Wilmot Access (CTH C)
River miles:
118.63 to 116.12

Distance:
2.51 miles  

Approximate time:
1-1.5 hours  

Difficulty: 
Easy  

Portages:
None  

Fees:
None
Put In:
Park in the lot at Fox River Park, just west of the Silver Lake Road bridge. The Fox River Park (Silver Lake) site is a concrete launch with facilities in the park.  

Along the Way:
Soon after leaving the Fox River Park (Silver Lake) site, the outflow creek from Silver Lake joins the Fox. The landscape is a mix of forested banks and wetlands at the meanders. This is an easy paddle on the last full segment of the FRWT in Wisconsin.  

Take Out:
After crossing under the Wilmot Road bridge, the Wilmot Access (CTH C) site will be on the east bank. This carry-in site has a large gravel parking lot next to the take out.  

Other Segment Info:
Kenosha County Fox River Trail Page  
Kenosha Tourism
Spring Grove, Illinois

Oak Point to Maple Grove
River miles:
112.64 to 110.55

Distance:
2.09 miles

Approximate time:
1 hour

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
Fox Waterway Agency Permit
Put In:
Carry in from parking lot in Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Site has restrooms, drinking water (seasonal), shelter, and picnic tables.

Along the Way: Segment is a wilderness/ natural environment with low water and islands. In areas of the Chain o’ Lakes a paddler will find motorized boat traffic, but motorized traffic is slow due to diminished line of sight with many turns in the river. Scenery is pleasant with abundant flora and fauna. However, flood damage from summer of 2017 is still evident. Pleasant paddle. Note: All boats on the Chain O’Lakes must display a Fox Waterway Agency sticker or face a substantial fine.

Take Out: Carry out in a small bay on river right (east side of Grass Lake.) Parking lot and restrooms, drinking water (seasonal), shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Onsite boat rentals and restaurant with carryout.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Camping available further into the state park. Outside of the State Park camping is available at Fox River Recreation. Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Visit Lake County
Fox Waterway Agency
Chain O’Lakes State Park
Spring Grove to McHenry

Maple Grove to Moraine Hills State Park (above dam)
River miles:
110.55 – 98.09

Distance:
12.46

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Experienced

Portages:
None. McHenry County (Stratton) Lock & Dam at river mile 97.7, downstream from take out.

Fees: Fox Waterway Agency Permit
Put In:
Carry in on east side of Grass Lake. Parking lot and restrooms, drinking water (seasonal), shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Onsite boat rentals and restaurant with carryout.

Along the Way: Area has widened into Grass Lake and increased motorboat traffic at accelerated speeds. Paddlers should hug the western bank. Winds and boat traffic will affect the paddling experience, creating challenging waves. Weekend paddlers will face more competition from recreational boating making the trip more challenging for inexperience paddlers. Blarney Island, in the center of Grass Lake, has a bar and dining. It is a popular stop for motorized boaters, with as many as 200 boaters docked on weekends. There is no access for paddlers and should be avoided. Prevailing winds can be challenging, and paddlers should hug bank of wind direction. Exit Nippersink Lake under Rte. 12 Bridge into Pistakee Lake. Main Channel should be avoided as it is deeper. While staying in shallow areas is safer, waves of 1-2 feet can be generated by motorboats and impact paddlers. This continues for 22 miles. Paddlers continuing travel on the river should stay river right through Pistakee Lake and into the main stem of the Fox River. You’ll have a nice paddle through downtown McHenry, stay to the west side of the river. Note: All boats on the Chain O’Lakes must display a Fox Waterway Agency sticker or face a substantial fine.

Take Out:
Carry out Moraine Hills State Park above the dam on river left. You’ll find a parking lot, restroom, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, bird watching, natural areas, onsite boat rentals, and restaurant with carryout. Or exit at Miller’s Riverfront Boat Launch at river mile 100.7 on river right for a shorter paddle. Or paddlers can access river below the dam through locks. The locks are closed November 1-April 30 each year. Due to construction, the lock will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays during the months of May and June. July 1 through September it will operate 7 days a week. For more information visit the website listed below. Another portage option is a river left at a decent concrete landing and walk a block to put in at Moraine Hills State Park (below dam).

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Camping available further into Chain O’Lakes State park. Outside of the State Park camping is also available at Grass Lake Marina and RV Park, Island on the Chain and Fishlake Beach Camping Resort.
Illinois DNR
Visit Lake County
Fox Waterway Agency
Visit McHenry County
Moraine Hills State Park
Stratton Lock & Dam
McHenry to Port Barrington

Moraine Hills State Park (below dam) to Fox River Forest Preserve
River miles:
98.09-91.17

Distance:
6.92

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in below dam river left in Moraine Hills State Park. You’ll find a parking lot, restroom, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, bird watching, natural areas, onsite boat rentals, and restaurant with carryout

Along the Way:
Paddlers will enjoy a pleasant paddle but should be aware that the river is shared with motorboats and caution should be observed as regards to visibility and wakes. Paddling near banks may pose challenges of marshy areas and downed trees. Part of the journey will be through downtown area with many options for dining and entertainment. Segment is urban with subdivisions with private homes south of Moraine Hills. Paddlers will compete with motorized boat traffic between McHenry and Port Barrington. A nice side trip is the Cotton Creek Marsh south of Holiday Hills. Access to the preserve is by permission only from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Note: All boats on the Chain O’Lakes must display a Fox River Waterway Agency sticker or face a substantial fine.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Fox River Forest Preserve with paved parking lot and amenities: restroom, drinking water, picnic shelter, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, nature area, marina, and youth camping available. Or exit at Hickory Grove Riverfront at river mile 92.3 for a shorter paddle.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Outside of the State Park camping is available at Fishlake Beach Camping Resort.
Illinois DNR
Visit McHenry County
Fox River Waterway Agency
Port Barrington to Fox River Grove

Fox River Forest Preserve to Picnic Grove Park
River miles:
91.17-86.93

Distance:
4.24

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
$5 parking fee at Picnic Grove Park
Put In: Signage on land to carry In from paved parking lot with amenities: restroom, drinking water, picnic shelter, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, nature area, marina, and youth camping available

Along the Way: Continued motorized boat traffic. Shoreline south of Port Barrington is private with many boat slips and piers. Deep center channel. Consult Google Earth to locate channel for paddlers. Note: All boats on the Chain O’Lakes must display a Fox Waterway Agency sticker or face a substantial fine.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Picnic Grove Park. Parking lot and shelter, picnicking, and playground.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Visit Lake County
Fox Waterway Agency
Lake County Forest Preserves
Fox River Grove
Fox River Grove to Algonquin

Picnic Grove Park to Riverfront Park
River miles:
86.93-82.05

Distance:
4.88

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None. Algonquin Dam at river mile 81.6 downstream from carry out.

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in from parking lot with shelter, picnicking, and playground.

Along the Way: River widens to an easy paddle through development with few amenities. Note: All boats on the Chain O’Lakes must display a Fox Waterway Agency sticker or face a substantial fine.

Take Out: Carry out river right. Parking lot with restroom, drinking water, shelter, and picnicking. Walking paths, restaurant nearby, and concerts in park with food trucks. Or at Fox Bluff Conservation Area at river mile 84.2 for a shorter paddle. Or portage around Algonquin Dam. Challenge will be transporting watercraft over busy five-lane Algonquin Road. Cross walk but no traffic signals to help pedestrians. Carry watercraft a couple of blocks to Cornish Park which has an excellent launch for canoes and kayaks.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Visit McHenry County
Fox Waterway Agency
Picnic Grove Park
Fox Bluff Conservation Area
Village of Algonquin
Algonquin and Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce
Algonquin

Cornish Park to Buffalo Park Forest Preserve
River miles:
82.05-80.55

Distance:
1.5

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages: None

Fees: None
Put In: Carry in from parking lot with restroom, drinking water, shelter, and picnicking, walking paths, restaurant nearby, and concerts in park with food trucks. Note: This is the southern border of the Fox Waterway Agency and stickers are not required to continue south.

Along the Way: Urban paddle on wide river. Some competition from motorized boat traffic.

Take Out: Carry out river right. Amenities include restrooms, picnicking, fishing, bird watching, nature area. River bank is flat enough for easy canoe/kayak put in.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Visit McHenry County
Village of Algonquin
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Algonquin and Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce
Algonquin

Buffalo Park Forest Preserve to Fox River Shores Forest Preserve
River miles:
80.55-78.33

Distance:
2.22

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
none

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in from parking lot. Amenities include restrooms, picnicking, fishing, bird watching, and nature area. River bank is flat enough for easy canoe/kayak put in

Along the Way: Note: Nice mix of suburban, agriculture and small town. River narrows in the northern end of segment widening as you move south.

Take Out: carry out river left. Parking lot with restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area. Across from Brunner Family Forest Preserve which has no access site.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce
Algonquin and Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce
Carpentersville

Fox River Shores Forest Preserve to McNamee Park
River miles:
78.33-76.67

Distance:
1.66

Approximate time:

Difficulty:

Portages:
Carpenter Dam at river mile 77.47

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in from parking lot with restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area. Across from Brunner Forest Preserve which has no access site.

Along the Way: Wide river, easy, enjoyable paddle. Portage around Carpentersville Dam river right. Difficult to see portage ahead, look for gazebo which designates the landing area. Short walk to portage directly below the dam. Several large islands below the dam.

Take Out: Carry out at river left at McNamee Park. Site has shelter, parking and picnicking

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Village of Carpentersville
Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce
Carpentersville to West Dundee

McNamee Park to South End Park
River miles:
76.67-75.20

Distance:
1.47

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in from parking lot with shelter and picnicking

Along the Way: Nice paddle through urban/suburban area.

Take Out: Carry out at river right at South End Park. Site has restrooms, shelter, picnicking, playground, and biking. There is no vehicle access or parking near the site.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Village of Carpentersville
Dundee Township Park District
Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce
West Dundee to Elgin

South End Park to Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve
River miles:
75.20-73.52

Distance:
1.68

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at South End Park. Site has restrooms, shelter, picnicking, playground, and biking. There is no vehicle access or parking near the site.

Along the Way: Largely rural and forested with several islands. Pleasant paddle.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve which is a long site with two accesses. Site has parking lot, restrooms, shelter, picnicking, bird watching, fishing, and natural area.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Dundee Township Park District
Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce
Explore Elgin
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
Elgin

Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve to Trout Park
River miles:
73.52-73.30

Distance:
.22

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve which is a long site with two accesses. Site has parking lot, restrooms, shelter, picnicking, bird watching, fishing, and natural area.

Along the Way: Growing more suburban. Long, narrow island in center of river. If you intend to stop at Trout Park, the next access site, you will need to paddle close to river left bank, east of island. Camping at Voyageur Landing Forest Preserve requires permission from the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Trout Park which has a parking lot, restrooms, shelter, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, natural area, and a ladder for paddlers with disabilities.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Explore Elgin
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
Elgin

Trout Park to Slade Avenue Park
River miles:
73.30-72.11

Distance:
1.19

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
None

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at Trout Park which has a parking lot, restrooms, shelter, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, natural area, and a ladder for paddlers with disabilities.

Along the Way: Pleasant paddle through suburban area.

Take Out: Carry out on river left at Slade Avenue Park which has parking lot, fishing, hiking, and biking. Concrete barriers prevent vehicle access to launch, but pedestrians can pass through carrying watercraft.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
Explore Elgin
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
Elgin

Slade Avenue Park to Lake Street
River miles:
72.11-70.41

Distance:
2.3

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
Novice

Portages: Kimball Street Dam at river mile 71.19

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at Slade Avenue Park. There is a parking lot, but concrete barriers prevent vehicle access to launch site. Pedestrians can pass through carrying watercraft. Site has fishing, hiking, and biking.

Along the Way: Nice urban paddle, but portage at the Kimball Street Dam is tricky. Dangerous dam. Carry out river left south of Veterans Memorial Park which is well above the dam. It’s a three-block walk in urban setting from Gail Borden Library where you can also access restrooms. It’s a long haul over busy five lane Kimball Street. Put in south of dam along nice river walk. After this it is a nice paddle through downtown. Long narrow island below the dam has pedestrian walkways.

Take Out: carry out on left bank between Casino and Festival Park at a ramp at the end of Lake Street cul de sac with room for pick up and drop off. A parking garage is located one block away. Concerts at Festival Park. Fishing, hiking, and biking.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Explore Elgin
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
Elgin

Lake Street to Elgin Shores Forest Preserve
River miles:
70.41-69.34

Distance:
1.07

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
none

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in at ramp on cul de sac at the end of Lake St. with room for pick up and drop off. A parking garage is located one block away. Concerts at Festival Park. Fishing, hiking, and biking.

Along the Way: Pleasant urban/suburban paddle.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Elgin Shores Forest Preserve. Parking lot, restrooms, shelter, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Trail system on east side of river and a little south.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Explore Elgin
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
Elgin to South Elgin

Elgin Shores Forest Preserve to Jon Duerr Forest Preserve
River miles:
69.34-65.44

Distance:
3.9

Approximate time:

Difficulty:

Portages: South Elgin Dam at river mile 67.54

Fees:
Put In: Carry in at Elgin Shores Forest Preserve on west side of River. Parking lot, restrooms, shelter, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Trail system on east side of river and a little south.

Along the Way: Pleasant urban/suburban segment. Large South Elgin Dam requires portage river left. Travel south on the Fox River Trail under the State Street bridge and enter the River.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. Parking lot, restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, natural area.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Explore Elgin
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
South Elgin
Kayak Myak Rentals, LLC
Rocktown Adventures of Rockford
South Elgin to St. Charles

Jon Duerr Forest Preserve to Ferson Creek Park
River miles:
65.44-61.01

Distance:
4.43

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages: None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve river right with parking lot, restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, natural area.

Along the Way: Fox River Trolley Museum is located near Jon Duerr access site and worth a visit. This section of the river grows more suburban. There are five islands just south of put in, followed by a sharp bend in the river and a few more islands.

Take Out: Carry out at Ferson Creek Park on river right. Site has parking lot, restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, playground, and fishing.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
South Elgin
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
St. Charles Business Alliance
St. Charles Park District
St. Charles

Ferson Creek Park to Boy Scout Island
River miles:
61.0-60.49

Distance:
.51 miles

Approximate time:
9.5 minutes

Difficulty: Novice

Portages: none

Fees: $10 Daily Parking Memorial Day to Labor Day. Seasonal $50 Residents & $100 Non- Residents
Put In: Carry in river right at Ferson Creek Park. Site has parking lot, restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, playground, and fishing.

Along the Way: Note: Motorized boat traffic Novice-at normal levels and flows, novice paddlers will enjoy a safe and pleasant experience Suburban lies within areas with open landscape and limited development.

Take Out: Carry out at Boy Scout Island. Site has parking lot, restrooms, picnicking, and fishing.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
St. Charles Business Alliance
St. Charles Park District
St. Charles

Boy Scout Island to Pottawatomi Park
River miles:
60.49-60.36

Distance:
.13 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
None. St. Charles Dam at river mile 59.9

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in river right at Boy Scout Island Park. Site has a parking lot with restrooms, picnicking, and fishing.

Along the Way: Short journey to east side of the river.

Take Out: Signs from water for carry out river left at Pottawatomi Park. Site has parking lot, restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, playground, swimming pool, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, natural area, and concert events.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
St. Charles Business Alliance
St. Charles Park District
St. Charles

Mt. St. Mary’s Park to Geneva Boat Launch
River miles:
59.49-58.26

Distance:
1.23 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages: None

Fees: Permit required to access Geneva Boat Launch
Put In: Parking lot is over 200 feet from carry in. Site has restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area.

Along the Way: Nice urban/suburban paddle.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Geneva Boat Launch. Permit purchase required to use ramp. Street parking.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Purchase permit to access Geneva Boat Launch at Geneva Police Dept.
Illinois DNR
St. Charles Park District
St. Charles Business Alliance
City of Geneva
Mill Race Cyclery
Geneva

Geneva Boat Launch to Fabyan Forest Preserve
River miles:
58.26-56.47

Distance:
1.79 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages: Geneva Dam at river mile 57.9.

Fees: Permit required to access Geneva Boat Launch
Put In: Street parking and carry in at Geneva Boat Launch. Permit purchase required to use ramp. Signs from land.

Along the Way: Nice urban/suburban paddle. Portage Geneva Dam river left. Exit river left above dam, travel south along path around dam and re-enter river just north of Rt. 38 bridge.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Fabyan Forest Preserve. Parking lot and signs from land. Site has restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural environment.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Purchase permit to access Geneva Boat launch at Geneva Police Dept.
Illinois DNR
City of Geneva
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Mill Race Cyclery
Geneva

Fabyan Forest Preserve to Laurelwood Park
River miles:
56.47-55.92

Distance:
.55 miles

Approximate time:


Difficulty:
Novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in at Fabyan Forest Preserve river right. Parking lot with signs from land. Site has restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural environment.

Along the Way: pleasant paddle in suburban area.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Laurelwood Park. Parking lot, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Batavia Park District
City of Batavia
Mill Race Cyclery
Batavia

Laurelwood Park to Batavia Riverwalk Park
River miles:
55.92-55.47

Distance:
.45 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:

Portages:
Batavia Dam at river mile 55.67.

Fees: None
Put In: Carry in at Laurelwood Park river left. Signs from land with parking lot, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area.

Along the Way: Dangerous dam has concrete and rebar debris dumped here. Avoid this dam by taking river right into bay. Carry out at Batavia Riverwalk and use pedestrian walkway to cross and put in on the east side of peninsula. There is also a signed portage river right outside of the bay close to the dam. Follow signs to travel south along path and re-enter river below dam.

Take Out: Carry out at Batavia Riverwalk Ramp located right of peninsula on left bank. Parking lot, restrooms and shelter. Alternate carry out outside of bay above dam with no amenities.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Batavia Park District
City of Batavia
Batavia Park District Kayak Rentals
Batavia to Aurora

Batavia Dam (below dam) to Veterans Memorial Park
River miles:
55.63-49.33

Distance:
6.30 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
None

Portages:
North Aurora Dam at river mile 52.07

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in below Batavia Dam located on east side of peninsula on left bank if you are portaging around Batavia Dam. For continuing south on river, access site from Houston St. to south, turning onto N. Island Ave, where you’ll find a parking lot, restrooms and shelter. Carry in on east shore of peninsula to continue south.

Along the Way: River narrows and holds many islands in this urban/suburban segment. Point of interest: side paddle up Mill Creek, west of Red Oak Nature Center, to see 16-foot wall of natural limestone. Red Oak Nature Center is also worth a visit with a cave at the bank which was used by Native Americans. Exit river left to a beach with low incline. Restrooms and trail available. Preferred portage at North Aurora Dam is to hug the west shore and exit river right. Portage around the dam by walking under State St. and re-enter River. Many islands in this stretch of the river. Stay to river right of island at Illinois Ave. On west side of island to carry out river left on island at Veterans Memorial Island Park in a protected bay.

Take Out: Carry out river left on island. Parking lot available.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
City of Batavia
Batavia Park District
Fox Valley Park District
Village of North Aurora
Batavia Park District Kayak Rentals
Aurora

Veterans Memorial Island Park to Pinney Street
River miles:
49.33-48.62

Distance:
.71 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
Stolp Island Dam at river mile 48.48.

Fees:
None
Put In: Exit East Illinois Ave to island at south entrance of Veterans Island Park. Parking lot available. Carry in to west side of island south of Illinois Ave.

Along the Way: River widens in this urban segment with islands.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Pinney Street. Parking lot available. Or, to portage around the Aurora/Stolp Island Dam; after exiting the River at Pinney Street, travel south and enter the River at Aurora West. Parking lot at Waubonsee Community College.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Fox Valley Park District
City of Aurora
Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Waubonsee Community College
Aurora

Aurora West to South River Street Park
River miles:
48.44-47.10

Distance:
1.34 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
None

Fees:
None
Put In: Carry in on west bank of Fox River at Aurora West. Hiking and biking available. Parking lot available at Waubonsee Community College

Along the Way: River around Stolp Island narrows in the urban area. A second large island is located immediately south of Stolp Island. River widens south of islands for a short time before narrowing around a number of small islands.

Take Out: Carry out at river right at South River Street Park. Signage from water. Parking lot, shelter, picnicking, and biking. Launch is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
City of Aurora
Waubonsee Community College
Fox Valley Park District
Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Aurora to Oswego

South River Street Park to Violet Patch Park
River miles:
47.10-43.87

Distance:
3.23 miles

Approximate time:


Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
Montgomery Dam at river mile 46.44

Fees:
none
Put In: Carry in from parking lot at South River Street Park. Site includes shelter, picnicking, and biking. Launch is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Along the Way: Urban/suburban paddle. To portage around Montgomery Dam exit on west side of island south of Ashland Ave. bridge; travel south and re-enter below dam at south end of island.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Violet Patch Park. Parking lot and restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Fox Valley Park District
City of Aurora
Village of Montgomery
Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Oswegoland Park District
Village of Oswego
Yak Shak, LLC
Oswego

Violet Patch Park to Hudson Crossing Park
River miles:
43.87-42.69

Distance:
1.18 miles

Approximate time:
15 minutes

Difficulty: Novice at Normal Levels

Portages: none

Fees: none
Put In: Signage on land for carry in at Violet Patch Park. Parking lot and restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area.

Along the Way: Low water in summer. High water with rapid flow in spring. Suburban – largely within developed areas of village. Violet Patch is a nice, natural, passive park. Troy Park to the east and Millstone Park to the west were sites of historic mills. At river left just upstream from Hudson Crossing Park there are portable toilets at Adams Park. Parking is limited to four spaces. River access has a small grade down the bank adjacent to some steps. Hudson Crossing Park was the site of a river crossing used by Native Americans and early settlers. Today it is a destination park with playground, shelters, fishing areas and the regional Fox River Trail.

Take Out: Signage from water to carry out river left at Hudson Crossing Park. Amenities include restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, nature area and a large parking area with easy river access.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Oswegoland Park District
Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Village of Oswego
Yak Shack, LLC
Oswego

Hudson Crossing Park to Saw-Wee-Kee Park
River miles:
42.69-40.36

Distance:
2.33 miles

Approximate time: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Novice at normal levels.

Portages: None

Fees: None
Put In: Signage from land to carry in at Hudson Crossing Park. Amenities include restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, nature area and a large parking area with easy river access.

Along the Way: Low water in summer. High water with rapid flowing water in spring. Novice-at normal levels and flows, novice paddlers will enjoy a safe and pleasant experience. River lies within areas with open landscape and limited development including agricultural areas, wilderness and natural environment with minimal human-made development or amenities. Many islands.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Saw-Wee-Kee Park. This is a developed motorized boat launch with signs from water. Parking lot and shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Oswegoland Park District
Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Village of Oswego
Yak Shack, LLC
Oswego to Plano

Saw-Wee-Kee Park to Silver Springs State Park
River miles:
40.36-31.67

Distance:
8.69 miles

Approximate time:


Difficulty:
Novice to intermediate

Portages:
Yorkville Dam at river mile 36.22

Fees:
none
Put In: Signage from land to carry in at Saw-Wee-Kee Park. This is a developed motorized boat launch. Parking lot and shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and nature area.

Along the Way: Rural paddle within open landscape and limited development. River widens and narrows around many islands. This stretch is largely rural until you near Yorkville. Paddlers should have some basic knowledge. River current could easily pin a boat in a sweeper, etc. There are small rapids on river right approaching the Yorkville Dam but nothing difficult. The Yorkville Dam stretches ¾ of the river. Coming up to Yorkville Dam, stay river left to use the recreation rapids chute at Marge Cline Whitewater Course. There is no control gate, so levels are dictated by natural river levels. Canoes can easily use the chute, but kayaks will need spray skirts. The rapids chute can be avoided by portaging just north of chute and walking along the chute to put in below. Past Yorkville Dam water levels may be low. Series of islands on river right suggest that paddlers keep left. A couple of islands downstream from Mill St. bridge and river right are home to a heron rookery. Wild turkeys have been spotted on the ridges on the left bank. Travel past wooded subdivision river right and the Hoover Forest Preserve on river left. Gravel shoals, water willow and shallow channels during low water so generally bear left.

Take Out: Carry out river left at Silver Springs State Park. High power tension lines mark the start of the Silver Springs State Park and the concrete landing will be on the left bank. There is a circular one-way drive that ends near the river landing. This road is closed from December 1-April 1. Parking lot and restrooms, drinking water, shelter, camping, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and nature area. Or carry out at Yorkville Bicentennial Riverfront Park river left includes parking, restrooms, shelter and picnicking. A pedestrian bridge over Marge Cline Whitewater Course to an island, concrete riverfront walk.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Oswegoland Park District
Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Village of Oswego
Silver Springs State Park
Yak Shack, LLC
Plano to Millbrook

Silver Springs State Park to Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve
River miles:
31.67-28.89

Distance:
2.78

Approximate time:
45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on water level

Difficulty: Novice at normal levels

Portages: None

Fees: None
Put In: Carry in at Silver Springs State Park. There is a circular one-way drive that ends by the river landing. This road is closed from December 1-April 1. Parking lot and restrooms, drinking water, shelter, camping, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and nature area.

Along the Way: Low water with a series of islands on the right side of the river presented some hazards; recommend paddlers keep left. The area is better traveling in the spring with higher water. Of interest – Farnsworth House on the right ½ mile downstream. After approximately 1 mile of travel, remnant of the old mill; a Great Blue Heron rookery with 30-50 nests on the island on the right bank and a low ridge with wild turkeys. Often see eagles, osprey and king fishers. Water can be choppy. Forest and agricultural land uses.

Take Out: Carry out river right at Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve. Parking lot and restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Note: last visit to site had apparent flood damage.

Other Segment Info: New access site at the Farnsworth House (river mile 31.2, river right) scheduled to be open spring, 2020. Check website for hours.

Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
Silver Springs State Park
Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
City of Plano
Farnsworth House
Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve
Village of Millbrook
Millbrook

Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve to Lois Landing
River miles:
28.89-24.83

Distance:
4.06

Approximate time:
.5 – 1 hour

Difficulty:
Novice at normal levels

Portages: none

Fees: none
Put In: Sign on land to carry in at Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve. Parking lot and restrooms, shelter, picnicking, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural area. Note: last visit to site had apparent flood damage.

Along the Way: Journey ranges from rural, with some development to wilderness and natural environment. Along the banks is relatively wooded with some agricultural land and the occasional house. After putting in, paddlers should stay to the right until the bridge, then bear left and stay left when the water level is low. There are a series of islands on the right and in higher water levels you can paddle up to the islands. At low water levels there is no water flow to get around them. Several miles of easy paddling once past islands as you near Millington. There is a park, golf course and gun club on the left bank. There are slight rapids just below the Millington Rd. Bridge – stay to the right. Bear right until the bridge. Low water, high water, other obstructions i.e islands, piers, weeds, etc. Novice at normal levels and flows, novice paddlers will enjoy a safe and pleasant experience. Rural land uses lie within areas with open landscape and limited development such as agricultural areas. Wilderness and natural environment with minimal human-made intrusion or amenities. The landing is located on the right bank in a subdivision. The landing is a gravel clearing with a paved lane going up to the road. No facilities here. Don’t be startled by sounds and sights of Fox Paintball Field just north of Bridge St. bridge

Take Out: Carry out river right to Lois Landing, located in a subdivision. The landing is a gravel clearing with a paved ramp up to the road and parking lot. There are no facilities or amenities here.

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Camping available at Mallard Bend Resort.
Illinois DNR
Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve
Village of Millbrook
LaSalle County Tourism
Ayers Landing Canoes
Millington to Dayton

Lois Landing to Dayton Dam (above dam)
River miles:
24.83-0.57

Distance:
19.1 miles

Approximate time:

Difficulty:
novice

Portages:
Dayton Dam at river mile 5.62

Fees:
None
Put In: Sign on land to Lois Landing which is located on river right bank in a subdivision. The landing is a gravel clearing with a paved land up to the road and parking lot. There are no facilities or amenities here.

Along the Way: Segment is largely rural/wilderness with pockets of suburban areas. Novice-at normal levels and flows, novice paddlers will enjoy a safe and pleasant experience. Beautiful sandstone bluff formations. Bald eagle’s nest. Unique “box canyon ravine” at Blake’s Landing Nature Preserve with “Indian Princess Cave.” Water can be low in summer but passable in channels. Explore cove south side of Little Indian Island. No access allowed on the shores of Blake’s Landing Nature Preserve.

Take Out: Carry out river right above Dayton Dam at river mile 5.7. No charge for rustic camping and cabins. Sign tells visitors to call (312) 215-9845 to inform dam owner’s regional manager of your presence. You can only access this site from the water. There is no road access.

Other Segment Info: To continue down river, portage around Dayton Dam. Camping available at Dayton Dam and Mallard Bend Resort.

Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
LaSalle County Tourism
Village of Millington
Blake’s Landing Nature Preserve
Mallard Bend Resort
Dayton Dam
C & M Canoe Rental/Fox River Tavern
Ayers Landing Canoes
Ottawa

Fox River Park (Ottawa)
River miles:
0.77

Distance:

Approximate time:

Difficulty:

Portages:

Fees:
Put In: Signage on land to carry in at Fox River Park, just north of confluence with the Illinois River. Parking lot with restrooms, drinking water, shelter, picnicking, playground, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and natural environment. Note signage is faded.

Along the Way:

Take Out:

Other Segment Info:
Note: Non-Motorized Watercraft on Illinois waterways does require registration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Illinois DNR
LaSalle County Tourism
C & M Canoe Rental/Fox River Tavern
Heritage Corridor Convention & Visitors Bureau