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Safety info for paddlers

Paddling on the Fox River is an activity the whole family can enjoy; however, many factors can change a pleasant, casual paddle into a dangerous situation. The Fox River Water Trail strongly recommends that you educate yourself about boating safety practices, watercraft regulations, and how to adjust plans given potential changes in weather. 

  • Paddlers, even the most experienced, must take caution considering bridge heights above water given changes in river levels.
  • Obstructions and log jams may require portaging. Some obstructions may fall underwater and may not be visible. These obstructions can flip a watercraft
  • Portions of the Fox River are navigable for power boats and other fast moving watercraft. Caution must be taken when paddling near larger craft.

The Fox River Water Trail is an interstate trail. Rules and regulations differ between Wisconsin and Illinois. Please review the boating safety information links below with respect to each state.

The National Park service has some great information on paddler safety at:

Wisconsin and Illinois have also compiled paddler safety information at: