Home » News

Category: News



The FPCC will again hold their Fall Paddle Fest on the Skokie Lagoons – Saturday, October 12 (Rain Date Sunday, October 13).

Fox River Water Trail Organizers Seek Public Input

Monday, June 17 – Geneva at Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave.

Monday, June 24 – Yorkville at Hampton Inn, 310 E. Countryside Parkway

Friday, June 28 – McHenry at City of McHenry Rec Center, 333 S. Green St.

Geneva, Illinois   The Core Development Team (CDT) of the Fabulous Fox! River Water Trail will be hosting several workshops in June sharing the results of their efforts with volunteers who have paddled the river collecting data. The CDT will display maps of the trail identifying the access sites and amenities, and information about journeys on segments of the river. The CDT will also be seeking input from paddlers and others familiar with the river to review the information collected and share additional information that would help paddlers enjoy safe and pleasant experiences. The CDT will then do a gap analysis and provide recommendations to public landowners including county and municipal governments.

Three Illinois workshops have been scheduled with plans to hold a fourth one in an additional community along the river. Currently scheduled workshops:

Monday, June 17 – Geneva at Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave.

Monday, June 24 – Yorkville at Hampton Inn, 310 E. Countryside Parkway

Friday, June 28 – McHenry at City of McHenry Rec Center, 333 S. Green St.

The Fabulous Fox! River Water Trail has been in development for several years with organizers from two states working with the National Park Service, SE Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership

Volunteer paddlers assisted to collect data on access sites, journey segments, hazards, dams and portages, amenities at access sites, and more. The Core Development Team is ready to share the results of those efforts and look for input from stakeholders to share their knowledge of the river to help fill in gaps and other information before applying for inclusion in the National Water Trail System.

Please join us at the workshop closest to you to learn and share.

For more information, visit our developing website at https://fabulousfoxwatertrail.org/ or Karen Miller at millerkaren@co.kane.il.us (630)232-3418.

Potluck, film and discussion on proposed pipeline endangering the Fox, Rock, Illinois and Kishwaukee Rivers.



Do you paddle on the Illinois, Rock, Fox, Kishwaukee, or South Kishwaukee Rivers? Imagine arriving for a lovely paddle and being turned away because of an oil spill in the river!  The first step in protecting the rivers that you love is to find out what is threatening them, so come and learn about a proposed new pipeline that Enbridge, a Canadian oil pipeline company, wants to put through northern Illinois.  You have two opportunities: Monday, June 17 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Sycamore Public Library, 103 E. State St., Sycamore, IL, or Tuesday, June 18, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Ottawa Campus of the Illinois Valley Community College, 321 W. Main St., Ottawa, in Room 105.  These events, sponsored by Save Our Illinois Land (SOIL), are free and open to the public.   http://saveourillinoisland.org/



Both events will start with a potluck (bring a dish to pass – store bought food is OK – and your own place setting (but we’ll bring disposables just in case).  After supper we’ll watch a short (38 minute) film called “Pipe Dreams.”  Made a few years ago, it’s about the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline that TransCanada is still trying to put through the Sand Hills of Nebraska.  The issues are the same as the ones we face in Illinois:

  • the danger to rivers and creeks if there were to be a spill of the toxic cargo planned to flow through both the KXL and the “Line 61 twin,” aka Line 66 that would go through the counties of Boone, DeKalb, LaSalle and Livingston;
  • the danger to groundwater, farmland, humans and animals; and
  • the taking of land by eminent domain for private gain.


After the film, we’ll have a discussion about Line 66, what it would mean for residents and visitors to northern Illinois, and how we can stop it.  Please join us!  For more info, contact Phyllis at phyllisofsoil@gmail.com or call her at 608-628-2605.


For more info on how a tar sands spill into a river can be devastating, read this article from St.Croix 360, that refers to the Kalamazoo River spill in July 2010, where almost a million gallons of tar sands, mixed with toxic, carcinogenic, flammable “diluents” including benzene and hydrogen sulfide, fouled 35 miles of that river and 4435 acres of shoreline.





For a shorter article in Wikipedia, go here.


Though some people say “You can’t stop a pipeline,” it’s a new day in America, and many pipelines have been stopped by citizen opposition. Check out this map that shows the 28 pipelines that were cancelled just in 2015 and 2016!



Paddlers know what a valuable and fragile resource rivers are – please join SOIL in taking action now to protect them!


Your Article Goes Here


Our newsletter articles are submitted by our paddling constituents.  Please consider posting about your favorite places to paddle in Illinois, paddling events, competitions, environmental concerns to paddlers, etc.

The process is very easy.

  1.  If you don’t allready have one, create a user-account on our website
  2. Log in with your user account
  3. browse to http://www.illinoispaddling.info/newsletter-2/submit-newsletter-content/
  4. Follow the online prompts and submit your news letter.

Questions:  contact Tom Eckels president@illinoispaddling.org;


IPC Dinner Meeting

IPC Annual Dinner Meeting

October 26, 2019 – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


3 S 530 Second Street, Warrenville, IL 60555

Our annual meeting, election of officers, awards ceremony, dinner and presentation will take place at the Warrenville’s 1838 Hotel “The Colonel’s Tavern” a historic landmark of

Please RSVP if you plan to attend NO LATER THAN October 24, as we need to provide the restaurant an approximate count for the food needed. Dinner will be various pizzas, salad, and soft drinks, and dessert; no alcoholic beverages available



who paddled the 223 miles of the Fox River from its origins to the confluence.  About half the river is free flowing; the other half is impoundment pools created by dams: Beaver dams, concrete dams, at least 3 former dams, and 26 log jams. 8 days from a narrow rill to a broad river, the paddle on the Fabulous Fox River was a Bucket List item that did not disappoint.

We will also celebrate the www.FabulousFoxWaterTrail.org efforts



PADDLERS’ RIVER ACCESS and BAAD GRANTS an Exciting Update – Scott Hays


Illinois paddlers along underdeveloped waterways just received some exciting news! Since my article in the previous newsletter, we have found out that IDNR will be re-opening the Boat Access Area Development (BAAD) local grant program for applications starting next June. The BAAD Program provides financial assistance to local government agencies for the acquisition, construction, and expansion or rehabilitation of public boat and canoe access areas on Illinois’ lakes and rivers. For more info on the BAAD program, visit their website here:


Developing boat access areas promotes paddlesports on Illinois rivers by making the paddling experience easier, safer and therefore more enjoyable, which keeps people coming back. And as we were reminded at the recent Water Trails Conference in Channahon, getting people out on our rivers is the simplest and most effective way to build appreciation, support, value and an attitude of protection for all Illinois Rivers.

In addition, funding was recently released for previously funded BAAD grant projects that have remained on hold for nearly 4 years.

Once such project will be a new access point on the East Branch of the DuPage River in Lisle Park District’s Community Park. Dan Garvy of the Lisle Park District said that a key to the successful application was that the Northeastern Illinois Water Trails Plan had already identified Community Park as a future launch site. This stresses the importance of communities creating a water trail plan as a vital first step in access area development.

Garvy reports that the new $100,0000 project will include large stepped outcropping stones and be handicapped accessible with a 180-foot concrete ramp to safely get paddlers down to the river.

Closer to my home here on the Sangamon River outside of Mahomet, Parks and Rec Director Dan Waldinger gave up on state funding for his previously approved and pending BAAD grant and subsequently applied for similar funding for the same river access project through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This $100,000 project was also recently approved, so we will be soon getting our first ever canoe and kayak launch site on the Upper Sangamon River. Waldinger’s experience points to the importance of looking to multiple sources to fund water rail access development. In addition, Waldinger reports that having a broader water trail plan in place was also crucial for the success of Mahomet’s application.

I look forward to sharing more exciting developments in the future (send me info about your latest successes). Presentations and discussions during the recent Water Trails Conference suggest that many more access points are needed. Let’s encourage DNR to provide even more funding for BAAD grants and other programs. And don’t forget to encourage your own municipalities, park districts and forest preserves to get their applications in next summer!


Fabulous Fox! Water Trail Website


Enjoy a wonderful article about the Fabulous Fox! Water Trail recently published in Kane Conty Connects – see here for details

Then go to https://fabulousfoxwatertrail.org/ to download the wonderful website that gives you all the info you need to enjoy many different stretches of paddling this great river.

Congratulations to the team that for the last several years worked so hard to put this all together.

Sigrid Pilgrim


Paige Minor is a 16-year old white water kayaker from Illinois, member of CWA and this is what she writes about herself:

“I started paddling when I turned 10 and it’s truly the best thing that has happened to me so far. When I first started I was scared by the smallest ripple and now I’m paddling class 4 confidently.

I have helped aid on many instructional trips within the clubs and other volunteer opportunities like river clean ups or Boy Scout demonstrations and I am now in charge of communications for the club (CWA)

I plan on attending world class kayak academy https://worldclassacademy.com/kayak/home/ next year for 1 semester. I have been working really hard to come up with the tuition fee of $18,000 in order to better my kayaking instruction. I am extremely interested in helping to increase the amount of youths involved in this sport and have even started working on that now. CWA is working closely with the boy scouts in our area to help them earn kayaking badges, I also applied to speak at Canoecopia about youth paddling this year and will be taking the certification class to teach as soon as I turn 18 so I can be even more hands on in the process of teaching more kids to kayak.”

To support Paige’s efforts, she has established a Go-Fund-Me page:


Paige also just received the first Marge Cline Memorial Fund Grant from ACA:


and a special grant from the Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddlesports Education from IPC.

We look forward to Paige’s becoming an expert instructor as soon as she turns 18.

We are starting a new tradition in our newsletter – let us know about a special paddler we can feature in our next issue.

May 4 – Ralph Frese Memorial Trip on the North Branch of the Chicago River

Historic Photo of Ralph and Rita Frese Celebrating the Ralph Frese Canoe Trail

Sponsored again by the:  Forest Preserves of Cook CountyFeel Free!

Bring your canoe or kayak and celebrate the legacy of canoe legend Ralph Frese by paddling the Ralph Frese Canoe Trail – the North Branch of the Chicago River from Willow Road Dam to Linne Woods in Morton Grove. (If the river is in flood – the trip will be north on the Skokie Lagoons).

Watch for further announcements.

Paddling Events


Don Mueggenborg

For all racing event details, check the St. Charles Canoe Club page at


May 5 – Current Buster, Fox River Pottawatomie Park, St Charles

May 19 – Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon, Des Plaines River – 20 + classes, canoemarathon.com – registration opens March 1

June 2 – Mid America Canoe Race, Fox River: https://www.facebook.com/MidAmericanCanoeKayakRace/

*June 9- Voyageur Landing Canoe Race, Fox River, Elgin-email kaab610@aol.com

*July 21 – Pontiac Vermillion Canoe Race – Vermillion River Pontiac

*July 13 or 14 Abe’s Race, Sangamon River, Petersburg, check Abe’s race website

*Sept 7 Joe Kowsky Memorial Canoe Race, DuPage River, Channahon, IL

Sept 15 – Vic Hopp Memorial Canoe Race, Upper Fox River, akpapa@yahoo.com

Sept 29 – Fall Classic Canoe Race, Fox River, Ferson Creek

All races have classes for canoes and kayaks.

Many have classes for SUP

*Tentative dates 

And the events are NOT only for the pros. Most participants paddle just for the fun of it.