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Splish Splash! Forest Preserve Launches Summer Paddling Programs



Photo for: Splish Splash! Forest Preserve Launches Summer Paddling Programs

Photo by Chad Merda

Celebrate summer and the great outdoors by signing up for a paddling program.

The Forest Preserve District offers a wide variety of programs to suit all abilities and interests. No prior paddling experiences? Sign up for a “Kayak Kollege.” Do you like to paddle and then sip? Sign up for a “Paddle and Pinot” session.

Programs take place during the day, at sunset or even when the moon is shining or a meteor shower is flashing overhead. You can paddle and search for mussels or tour Rock Run Rookery Preserve by water.

Being on the water in a kayak or canoe provides the tranquility you need to get away from it all while also supplying good workouts and nature sighting opportunities. You can glide along quietly listening to birds or dig deep into the water with your paddle to push yourself and get your heart pumping.

 

So, check out this lineup of paddling programs and pick the ones that suit you best. Visit the Event Calendar to get additional information on each program and an online registration link. Be sure to wear shoes and clothes that can get wet, and don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle. Children participating in the programs must be accompanied by adults.

REGISTER FOR A PADDLING PROGRAM

Here are the scheduled paddling programs set for June through August:

Paddling Safety and River Hazards (Zoom Webinar): 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, online. Free, ages 14 or older.
Join a certified canoe and kayak instructor for a virtual, informational presentation to discuss safe paddling in Will County and the potential hazards that can exist on the waterways. Register for the Zoom link.

Summer Kick-Off Paddle: Bring Your Own Boat: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, June 12, McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove, Channahon. Ages 14 or older, $10 per person.
Kick off the summer with an afternoon paddle with certified Forest Preserve District instructors at the confluence of the DuPage and Des Plaines rivers. All participants must bring their own canoe or kayak and a personal flotation device. Register online by Thursday, June 10, or call 815.722.9470.

Hump Day Afternoon Paddle: 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, Whalon Lake, Naperville. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
Celebrate “hump day” by kayaking the Forest Preserve District’s Whalon Lake. Stretch out your muscles and learn basic paddle moves on shore. Then hit the water to independently explore. Register online by Sunday, June 13, or call 815.886.1467.

Hump Day Sunset Paddle: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, Whalon Lake, Naperville. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
See description above. Register online by Sunday, June 13, or call 815.886.1467.

Kayak Kollege: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township. Ages 10 or older, $35 per person.
This workshop, led by American Canoe Association certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking on flat water. Two-hour sessions will be offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Private one-on-one kayak instruction also is available. Register online or call 708.534.8499. 

Kayak Kollege for Beginners – Lake Chaminwood: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 19, Lake Chaminwood Preserve, Troy Township. Ages 12 or older, $35 per person.
This beginner’s workshop, led by certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking. Basic instruction and safety are covered on shore, and then participants will head to the water to try out new skills. Register online by Friday, June 18, or call 815.722.9470.

Full Moon Paddle and Pinot: 7-10 p.m. Friday, June 25, Monee Reservoir. Ages 21 or older, $20 per person.
Paddle the reservoir with your adult friends and certified instructors while taking advantage of the lighting from the full moon. Previous paddling experience is strongly recommended. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

Music at Monee: Concerts by Kayak: 7-10 p.m. Friday, July 16, Monee Reservoir. Ages 21 or older, $20 per person.
Enjoy the music of Harmonica Jack while paddling the inner bay of Monee Reservoir. Watch the sunset, listen to great music and then, once off the water, hang out by the fire, listen to music and enjoy any beverages you bring. (Beer and wine only for alcoholic beverages.) Prior paddling experience is strongly recommended. One-on-one instruction is available. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

Kayak Kollege: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, July 17, Monee Reservoir. Ages 10 or older, $35 per person.
This workshop, led by American Canoe Association certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking on flat water. No previous experience is required. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

Kayak Kollege – Lake Chaminwood: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 23, Lake Chaminwood Preserve. Ages 12 or older, $35 per person.
This beginner’s workshop, led by certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking. Basic instruction and safety are covered on shore, and then participants will head to the water to try out their new skills. Register online by Thursday, July 22, or call 815.722.9470.

Teacher Appreciation: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Free, ages 18 or older.
Before the workload of a new school year begins, teachers are invited to enjoy a revitalizing day at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center to kayak, hike and learn firsthand about the Forest Preserve’s school programs. Register online by Tuesday, July 27, or call 815.722.9470.

Teacher Appreciation: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 31, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Free, ages 18 or older.
See program description above. Register online by Tuesday, July 27, or call 815.722.9470.

Paddle the Preserves: Touring Rock Run Rookery: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, August 7, Rock Run Rookery Preserve, Joliet. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
Paddle around the islands and inlets of Rock Run Rookery Preserve guided by an interpretive naturalist as you explore all this lake has to offer. Previous kayaking experience is required. Register online by Thursday, August 5, or call 815.722.9470.

Perseids & Pinot Paddle: 7-10 p.m. Friday, August 13, Monee Reservoir. Ages 21 or older, $20 per person.
Watch the sunset and then view the Perseids meteor shower overhead during this self-guided program. After paddling, hang out by the fire and enjoy any beverages you bring. (Bring beer and wine only for alcoholic beverages.) Prior paddling experience is strongly recommended. Private, one-on-one instruction also offered. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

Freshwater Mussel Paddle and Dig: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, August 21, McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
Travel by kayak from the shores of Four Rivers to where mussels dwell. Learn how to find them and just how beneficial they are. Register online by Thursday, August 19, or call 815.722.9470.

Sunset Paddle: 6-8 p.m. Friday, August 27, Lake Chaminwood Preserve. Ages 12 or older, $20 per person.
Take a sunset paddle on Lake Chaminwood with an interpretive naturalist. Previous kayaking experience is required. Register by Wednesday, August 25, or call 815.722.9470.

Kayak Kollege: 3-5 p.m. Saturday, August 28, Monee Reservoir. Ages 10 or older, $35 per person.
This workshop, led by American Canoe Association certified instructors, introduces participants to the sport of kayaking on flat water. No previous experience is required. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

Summer Sendoff Paddle & Ice Cream: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, August 28, Monee Reservoir. Ages 5 to 12, $10 per person; ages 13 or older, $20 per person.
Take in some of the last summer sun before fall sets in at Monee Reservoir. Choose a kayak or canoe to paddle, and then take a tour with a certified instructor and play some games. Each participant will receive an ice cream treat. Prior paddling experience is recommended. Register online or call 708.534.8499.

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Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

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