–By Don Mueggenborg
Some places seldom paddled in Illinois:
The Fox River between Silver Springs State Park and Shuh Shuh Gun Canoe Landing.
We discovered this canoe landing a couple years ago. The river is much like the river from Yorkville to Silver Springs with ripples to navigate and forest lined banks. Solitude. The trick is finding Shuh Shuh Gum (Kendal County FPD).
Skokie Lagoons – built by WPA in the 1930’s – a series of pools and islands and an adventure discovering all the different ways to go. A place near the city to get away from it all.
Sangamon River – I have paddled in the Decauter area and from Springfield to New Salem. The river winds among forests, not many residents along the way.
The Spoon – called the Grand Canyon of Illinois because of the clay banks streaked with red, brown, black. At normal water levels, the river sneaks and curves through canyons and farm country.
Blackberry Creek – I put in at Bliss Woods and paddled to Prairie St., Aurora. A narrow little creek – fun, but prone to log jams after a storm.
Pecatonica River – The Friends of the Pecatonica have done a great job building boat launches. River winds through farmland and forests.
Hennipin Canal – The canal runs from the Illinois River (sorry no access at the Illinois – go to the town of Tiskilwa) to the Mississippi River. No longer used for anything but recreation. It is fun to paddle through the whistles (tubes that go under the roads). I liked camping at Mineral and Wyanet. Interesting museum.
I & M Canal – Channahan to Gehardt Wood. You paddle on an aqueduct in a couple places. This could be a paddle and bike trip.