Home » Illinois Paddling Council Blog » News » Events

Category: Events

Mark Your Calendars – May 21, 2017 – The 60TH Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

For the first time in event history – the river is free flowing – no more portaging dams!

Check out the pictures from the 2016 event (below) – great paddling, great food, great music, and great cameraderie – be part of a tradition – and make it your tradition.

For more information – check out www.canoemarathon.com

2017 Marathon flyer: DPM

2016 Marathon photos:

1. Music to Entertain
2. Pizzas in the Wood Oven
3. Pizza Options
4. Or Sandwiches
5. Fun Lunch
6. Valued Sponsor
7. The T-shirt Tent
8. Keeping Boats Safe
9. Inside the Canoe Corral
10. Coast Guard Station
11. Boat Numbers are a MUST
12. Guidance to t-shirts and patches
13. Checking the score board
14. Emergency help just in case
15. Finally done
16. Near the Takeout
17. Reading the Boat Numbers
18. Scoring the Finishers
19. The Course
20. The Finish Line
22. All done paddling – takeout
23. Race Head Quarters
24. Thank you all for hall
25. Dangers of Dams
26. Thank you Forest Preserves of Cook County
27. Trophies waiting for their recipients
29. Announcing the winners
30. Some winners
31. The Score Board
32. One of the best


Calling / Requesting / Soliciting All Paddlesport Event Organizers

With this year’s paddling season drawing to a close – except for some die-hard paddlers that love breaking ice – it is time to think about next year.

IPC has an events calendar where we list all paddlesports-related events we become aware of. This also helps in promoting your event(s).

If you are a paddlesport event organizer, or know someone who is – whether a competition/race, a river cleanup, a paddling festival or any other event involving paddlesport – canoe/kayak/SUP/raft- on a river, lake,  bayou (ok – we may not have some here in Illinois) – please forward such information to

news@illinoispaddling.org – or to spconsult@comcast.net

We would like to compile a master list for next year’s events to publish in upcoming newsletters with details (so include background on – and details of – the event). Hopefully, we can also avoid having major events take place on the same weekend.

If you have any questions, please forward these to spconsult@comcast.net

Thank you – Sigrid Pilgrim, Director, PR & Marketing

Just Around the Pointe – Guinness World Record Attempt

Dear Paddlers,

On March 13, 2017, Traci Lynn Martin, an experienced expedition kayaker and successful ultra-endurance competitive kayaker, will begin her attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.

“My goal,” explains Traci, “is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most miles kayaked in one year and in the process, to encourage and inspire individuals with chronic health conditions to reach for their dreams and don’t ever give up.”

In 2010, Traci was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a debilitating disease. Despite the diagnosis, she continues to race and has placed first in several competitions. She has set three course records in the mixed tandem division, and has set course records in the women’s solo division of various races.

The Stellar Tour de Force record-breaking attempt will include:

  • 2 Countries- USA and Canada
  • 5 Canadian Provinces – Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia
  • 14 States – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York,  New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey
  • The 5 Great Lakes
  • The St. Lawrence River Seaway
  • The Hudson River to Troy, New York
  • The Erie Canal System to Lake Oneida and back onto Lake Ontario (via the Oneida and Oswego Rivers)
  • 8,600 miles in 265 days!

At the same time, a documentary will be filmed. See the documentary trailer here: https://vimeo.com/184781882

View the website for the trip with details, route, and projected timeline: http://justaroundthepointe.com

Traci would love to have members of your group paddle along with her when she is in your area.  You will be able to track Traci’s progress and location on RaceOwl.com beginning in March 2017.  She is also in need of people who are willing to deliver supplies to her along the shoreline of her route.

For comments/questions, you may reach Traci at justartoundthepointe@gmail.com.

If you would like to be included in trip updates and future press releases about Traci Martin’s epic journey, please reply back with your agreement to “opt-in” and include your group/association name and email address.

We look forward to sharing Traci’s journey with you!

Mary Strope, Media Coordinator for Traci Martin



Great Rivers of Chicago Roundtable Discussion

In early September of this year, advance word was distributed to a myriad of Chicago area organizations of a pending presentation of interest to those concerned with the future of Chicago’s three river systems: the Chicago River, the Calumet River, and the Des Plaines River. This presentation in late September was in effect a report of studies and discussions over recent years coordinated by the Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and directed towards enhancing multiple uses of these urban waterways. In attendance at this Roundtable Discussion were around one hundred representatives from public and private organizations, including “yours truly” from the Illinois Paddling Council. While I doubt that heretofore many, if any, IPC members were aware of this developing study and planning effort, I am glad to report on what I have learned about the intended future of our “Great Rivers.”

Study objectives over the next 25 years include development of enhanced recreational use of these rivers and their adjoining shorelines, including paddlesport and even swimming. Indeed, there are some individuals now swimming in sections of these rivers, including some of the planning study leadership. In some other cities which now include radiation in the treatment of their wastewater, river swimming is even more commonplace.

However, enhanced and varied recreational opportunity is not the only objective of the planning effort. Some sections of all three of these rivers will provide for transportation of both people and enhanced barge traffic. Still other sections will evolve into increased residential, industrial, park land, commercial usage or in some cases, remain as forested riverfront for both human recreation and colonization by wildlife. The Metropolitan Planning Council is hoping now to expand and organize further the development of these riverfront resources.

Unaware in the 1970s and 80s that formal governmental interest was developing in the retention of a portion of this forested riverfront, some of the paddlesport community nevertheless became involved in the Cook County Clean Streams Committee. This group consisted of both river preservationists and government representatives who met monthly at Forest Preserve Headquarters to alert one another to sources of stream pollution and the accumulation of natural and man-made debris and to seek resolution of these intrusions on what few examples of “municipal wilderness” remained.

More recently, Don Mueggenborg and I have appeared at several meetings of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Board (aka the Cook County Board) to present requests on behalf of the IPC and the Des Plaines Marathon for removal of lingering low rise dams and the enactment of other measures to enhance use by the paddlesport community. Friends of the Chicago River has been a vigorous member of the Metropolitan Planning Commission and has very effectively engaged the public in river involvement and advocacy, as has the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee.

What Next? We all need to watch for word of further activity by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and offer whatever opinions and input we can muster! This planning effort is not solely an attempt to convert the 150 plus miles of the Chicago, Des Plaines, and Calumet Rivers within Chicago to the equivalent of wild and scenic rivers. Rather, it is an effort to work together to coordinate the planning and enactment of associated residential, industrial, transportation, and recreational uses along those many miles of riverfront.

And so, with all of this river-related Chicago planning underway on many fronts, what new projects were announced at the Roundtable for which public or private interests are actively moving ahead? Well, for the moment, none that I could tell. However, one idea expressed that seemed relatively possible to a non-planner like me was the establishment of barge-based floating cafes or theaters to attract more people to more sections of rivers than provided by current tour boats and canoe/kayak rental and launching sites. The potential interest of more people with more money and more imagination being exposed to a river does increase the likelihood of outcomes consistent with this planning.

Meanwhile, Lake County Forest Preserve has removed the two remaining low-rise dams on its Des Plaines River, rendering the DP River Canoe and Kayak Marathon dam-free for the first time in its 60-year-history.

We can certainly be grateful for the participation in this discussion of Josh Ellis, a Director of the Metropolitan Planning Council and leader of the Roundtable Discussion, and the four discussion panelists: Kim Wasserman-Nieto of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, John Quail – Director of Watershed Planning for Friends of the Chicago River, Arnold Randall – Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and David Reifman – Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

…. Jack Snarr

The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation: Meeting Thursday, November 17, 2016

RE: You are invited to our Meeting—Please Join Us!

Dear Friends, Members, Supporters, Prospective Members & the Good People that are always there to help:

LENA, ILLINOIS; The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation will be meeting Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 7:00 pm at The Rafter’s Restaurant & Catering, 9426 W. Wagner Road, Lena, Illinois 61048.  The meeting will be held in the Cafe’ Dining Room with our fearless leader, President, Joe Ginger presiding.  Great atmosphere and POPCORN! The Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation is a Not-for-Profit organization that is dedicated to improving all 58 miles of your Pecatonica River experience.  This includes access, education, wildlife habitat, log jam extrication and river clean-up for the human communities in Stephenson County.

Be sure to pick up the all new Second Edition of the Pecatonica River post card book. It is available at The Red Barn & Natural Healing  Express – Lena for $12.00.  We will have them at our meeting.  Another collector book created by Joe Ginger with autographs only available at our meeting.  We will be discussing our upcoming paddling events, races and more.  Free Canoe & kayak trips.  Come check us out.

The fun & fishing is great on your 10,000 year old river and the Wildlife viewing is even better.  Our organization is a fun “hands on” group that is making great things happen.  We encourage you to attend our meeting and consider becoming a member.  The membership fee is reasonable and the rewards are many.  Everyone is welcome.


Friends of the Pecatonica River Foundation


Roger Schamberger

Government Liaison



Annual Dinner Reminder

IPC Members and Friends:
This is a friendly reminder to reserve your spot at the IPC annual dinner meeting. We need reservations by Wednesday 10/19/16 Please email president@illinoispaddling.org with any questions or to reserve a spot and pay at the door.
IPC Annual Dinner Meeting
5-9pm 10/22/16 Various Pizzas, Salad and Soft Drinks to be provided
$20 per Person or $35 includes annual membership in IPC
Children under 14–Free
Historic Warrenville Tavern
3 S 530 2nd Street
Warrenville IL. 60555
Mail Check to: Jack Snarr 2316 Prospect Avenue, Evanston IL 60201
5-5:30 Networking
5:30-6 IPC Business Meeting
IPC Year in Review
Election of Officers
Competition Awards
6-6:30 Dinner
6:30-8:30 Presentation: Carol Hays from Prairie River Networks and Scott Hays from the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy “How paddlers can connect people to rivers and wildlife and the need to do that for many reasons. How the USRC has accomplished this on the upper Sangamon”
8:30-9 Networking

Paddle into Paddler’s Party

By Don Mueggenborg

What better way to go to the Illinois Paddling Council banquet and meeting than to paddle to the banquet.

The Warren Tavern is on the DuPage River. Pull up to the shore, walk up the hill, and you are there.

Wear your paddling crocs or aquasocks instead of high heels. A PFD instead of a sport coat.  With a room full of paddlers, you will be right at home.

Can’t you imagine Julius Warren paddling up from McDowell Woods where his father had claimed some land – stopping at Warrenville and saying “This is where I will start my town.” Then going into the Warren Tavern for some pizza to celebrate.

Well, it probably didn’t happen exactly that way – but no one can prove differently.

At Warrenville Forest Preserve, there is a canoe launch – about a 5-10 minute paddle upstream. If you want a little more action, you can shoot the old dam before you start downstream.  Or put in at McDowell Woods and paddle upstream – maybe 20 minutes.

Both of these are forest preserves, so you would have to do a car shuttle ahead of time because the preserves close at dusk.

I wonder if anyone ever paddled into an IPC meeting before.

Weather and water permitting, might be fun.

Rapids by put-in at Warrenville FPD.  You can put in and paddle upstream to "shoot" the rapids or put in below.
Rapids by put-in at Warrenville FPD. You can put in and paddle upstream to “shoot” the rapids or put in below.
Warren Tavern (on right) from DuPage River
Warren Tavern (on right) from DuPage River

Annual Meeting, Dinner, Awards Ceremony, and Presentation – Saturday, October 22

Location –  Warren Tavern , located at 3S540 Second Street, Warrenville, Illinois

Time – 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Dinner – various pizzas, salad, and soft drinks, no alcoholic beverages available

Cost – $20.00/person

  • Presentation by Prairie Rivers Network on the Health of Illinois’s Waterways and Effects of Dam Removal, and by the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy on stewardship efforts on Illinois’s first water trail.
  • Photo display of selected Ralph Frese canoes and kayaks from his collection
  • Updates on efforts to develop the Lake Michigan, Kankakee, and Fox River Water Trails.

Annual Dinner Meeting

Saturday, October 22, 2016


At the Historic Warren Tavern

Warrenville, IL

Our annual meeting, election of officers, awards ceremony, dinner and presentation will take place at Warrenville’s 1838 Hotel, “The Colonel’s Tavern,” a historic landmark of DuPage County (http://www.warrenvillehistorical.org/about-us/warren-tavern/history.html)

We will have a presentation from the Prairie Rivers Network on the Health of Illinois Waterways and Effect of Dam Removal.  Time Permitting, the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy will present their stewardship efforts on Illinois’ first water trail.

So mark your calendar for October 22 and watch for more details as these are finalized.

For more information or to sign up for the Annual Dinner: http://wp.me/P5Rg4t-9