*** All Forest Preserve District preserve access area parking lots, boat launches, and dog parks are closed through April 30 due to the stay-at-home mandate issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as a result of the new coronavirus pandemic. The launching of boats will not be allowed until the preserve access areas reopen. ***
The Forest Preserve offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities at locations throughout Will County.
Canoeing and Kayaking Regulations
All Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) watercraft regulations are enforced.
All persons in a canoe or kayak must wear a personal flotation device at Monee Reservoir and at District-sponsored programs. Children under the age of 13 must wear PFDs in all instances when on water.
Swimming, wading and float tubes (belly boats) are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft.
Inflatable watercraft is permitted.
A launch pass (daily or seasonal) is required to launch a canoe or kayak at Monee Reservoir. Individuals must be 12 years old or older to launch a personal canoe or kayak. Those younger than 18 years of age must also be accompanied by an adult on the water.
No launch pass is required at other locations.
Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124 or call 815.727.8700.
FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR SAFE PADDLING AND BOATING EXCURSIONS
Canoeing and Kayaking Programs
Canoeing and kayaking programs are offered seasonally at select preserves. Visit the Event Calendar for program listings.
Canoeing and Kayaking Locations
Canoe/kayak launches are available at four of the Forest Preserve's fishing lakes: Whalon Lake in Naperville, Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet, Lake Chaminwood Preserve in Minooka and Monee Reservoir.
Canoe/kayak launches are also available at the following preserves for access to local rivers:
- Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access in Shorewood (DuPage River)
- Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access in Shorewood (DuPage River)
- Riverview Farmstead Preserve in Naperville (DuPage River)
- McKinley Woods – Frederick's Grove in Channahon (Des Plaines River and I&M Canal)
- McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove in Channahon (DuPage River)
- Isle a la Cache in Romeoville (Des Plaines River)
Canoes and kayaks may be launched on Forest Preserve District lakes year-round unless there is ice on the water, in which case it is prohibited. Please note: District boat launches close for the season on October 31.
Canoe/Kayak Launch Pass
A seasonal canoe/kayak launch pass is valid at Monee Reservoir May 1-September 30.
Activity Fee: $10/day, $45/season
Canoe/Kayak Rentals at Monee Reservoir
Canoes and kayaks are available for rental at Monee Reservoir May 1-September 30. Canoes and kayaks are rented on a first-come, first-served basis and life vests, oars and paddles are included with rentals. Canoes have a maximum capacity of three persons per canoe. Regular kayaks have a maximum capacity of one person per kayak, and tandem kayaks have a maximum capacity of two persons per kayak.
A $20 cash deposit is required on all boat rentals. Renters must be 18 years old and bring a valid driver's license or state ID. A $20 late fee will be charged if boats are not returned by 5 p.m. in April and September 15-September 30, or 7 p.m. May 1-September 14.
Activity Fee: $10/hour, $30/half-day
Kayak Rentals at Whalon Lake
Starting with the 2019 season, a kayak rental program is being offered by Naperville Kayak at Whalon Lake, which obtained a concessions license with the District. A maximum of 30 rented kayaks will be allowed at one time on the lake, which has an 80-watercraft limit. Private kayaks can still be launched on the lake.
Current costs and hours that rentals are available can be found on Naperville Kayak's website.