Whalon Lake will be a hot spot for paddling fun starting now that a new kayak rental program has gotten underway at the Forest Preserve District’s Naperville preserve.
Rentals will be available three days every week, Fridays-Sundays, from June through the third week in August. Kayak rentals will be available on weekends only from the third week in August until the end of September.
Kayaks can be rented from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Thirty-minute rentals cost $10 for single kayaks and $20 for tandem kayaks.
The kayak rental program is being offered by Naperville Kayak, which obtained a concessions license with the District in February. 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.
"We were really excited when Naperville Kayak approached us with their proposal for rentals at Whalon Lake, and they came with great recommendations from many partner municipalities and organizations," said Lynn Kurczewski, the District's director of visitor services.
Naperville Kayak staffers will offer customers brief instructions and general kayaking guidance. Kayak rentals include paddles and U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices. Reservations are not required. Kayakers should wear clothing that can get wet and they are required to wear shoes and life jackets at all times. Also, remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
Kayak rentals are restricted to ages 18 and older. Children ages 17 and under must be accompanied on the water by a parent or legal guardian over 18 years of age. Renters are required to sign a waiver and release prior to each rental. Food, alcohol, smoking, swimming, diving, standing and racing are all prohibited while kayaking on the lake.
The Forest Preserve offers its own kayak, canoe and boat rental program from a concession stand at Monee Reservoir in Monee Township.
"The District has always wanted to expand rentals to other areas of the county, in particular at Whalon Lake, however, were unable to do so because of staffing and budget limitations," Kurczewski said. "The partnership with Naperville Kayak now allows us to offer kayak rentals to folks in the north-eastern corner of the county.
Kayak rentals aren't the only option for those who don't have their own kayaking equipment.
"In addition to kayak rentals at Whalon Lake, the Forest Preserve will continue to offer many staff-led kayaking and canoeing programs during the summer months," Kurczewski said. "Staff-led paddling programs are offered at Whalon Lake, Lake Chaminwood Preserve, Rock Run Rookery Preserve and Monee Reservoir."
For more information on Forest Preserve kayaking programs, visit the Forest Preserve’s Event Calendar.
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