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The Forest Preserve offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities at locations throughout Will County.

Canoeing and Kayaking Regulations

All persons in a canoe or kayak must wear a personal flotation device at all times.

Swimming, wading and float tubes (belly boats) are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft.

Inflatable watercraft registered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is permitted.

A launch pass (daily or seasonal) is required to launch a canoe or kayak at Monee Reservoir. 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.

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.

Canoes and kayaks are available for rental at Monee Reservoir. Canoes and kayaks are rented on a first-come, first-served basis and are available May 1-September 30. With a rental, life vests, oars and paddles are included.

Activity Fees

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 Rental

Canoes and kayaks are available for rental at Monee Reservoir May 1-September 30. 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-October 31, or 7 p.m. May 1-September 14.

Activity Fee: $7/hour, $25/half-day, $30/day

Paddle Craft License (Water Usage Stamp)

A paddle craft license is required for all personal non-motorized watercraft in Illinois. These licenses may be purchased at Monee Reservoir and expire on December 31 of each year.  The stamp can be adhered anywhere on the interior or exterior of your vessel as long as it is visible. 

License Fee: $6.50 each for the first three watercraft; $3.50 each for the fourth and all additional watercraft.

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