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The Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddle Sports Education

This fund assists the development of instructor trainers and advanced level Instructors (ACA Level III or above) and certified instructors residing in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

A one-time $500 honorarium will be awarded upon completion of necessary training and presentation of evidence of certification in any paddling discipline as:

  • An American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer, or Instructor Trainer Educator
  • A United States Canoe Association Trainer
  • A British Canoe Union Level 5 Assessor

A one-time $150 honorarium will be paid to those individuals who present evidence of certification in any paddling discipline as:

  • An American Canoe Association Instructor Level III or above
  • A British Canoe Union Coach 3

These honoraria are designed to reimburse successful trainees for part of the costs incurred during the certification process. No one may receive more than one honorarium. Awards will be made until the fund is depleted.

To ensure the fund will not be depleted – watch for a special raffle announcement to benefit the fund. We gratefully acknowledge the following contributions made already:

  • LL BEAN – $200 Gift Certificate
  • NORTHWEST PASSAGE – Two SUP class certificates valued at $50 each

If you are a business – please consider contributing to the raffle with a product donation or gift certificate.

If you are a paddler, you can make a donation at http://www.illinoispaddling.info/heartland-fund/

2015 Race Schedule

June 13-14     St. Charles Dragon Boat Races

June 28          Voyageur Landing*  Contact: kaab610@aol.com

July 12           Five State Challenge

July 18           Illinois Whitewater Festival & Buttercup Salom Series

July 19           Pecatonica*

July 26          Pontiac*
Aug. 11-16     USCA Nationals

Sept. 12         Joe Kowsky Memorial Race (I &M and Dupage)* – Channahon, IL

                      Full details at the following link –                                    https://www.facebook.com/events/896912217026467/

Sept. 20           Vic Hopp*

Sept. 27           Fall Classic*

Oct. 10-11       Aluminum Nationals


*IPC Points Race

Dam Simulator Plans

Want to Build your own Dam Simulator?  We have the plans for that.

When presenting the Dam Simulator, Please make sure you recognize:

 Illinois Paddling council

Sigrid Pilgrim, president of the IPC at the time the Dam was Built

Dam Simulator Design and Engineering: Susan Sherrod

Dam Builder: Joel Neuman, B&N Products, Palatine, Illinois, USA,

And the Baxter foundation for their funding of the project…

Additional info in ACA web site:  http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.americancanoe.org/resource/resmgr/sei-educational_resources/article_dam_simulator.pdf

dam simulator plans

Liveries and Boat Rentals

DISCLAIMER: This list is provided as a service to the public looking for paddling opportunities. This list is not an endorsement of their services.


Name and Website City, State, Zip Waterway Phone
Ayers Landing Wedron, IL 60557 Fox River 815-434-2233
C&M Canoe Rental Ottawa, IL 61350 Fox River 815-434-6690 or
Canoe the Kish at Larsen’s Landing Rockford, IL 61109 Kishwaukee River 815-516-9070
Canoe the Vermilion Streator, IL 61634 N. Vermilion/Illinois/Fox/I&M Canal 815-673-3218
Chicago Paddle Rentals Chicago, IL 60653 Lake Michigan 312-924-7994
Chicago River Canoe & Kayak Chicago IL 60302-2329 Chicago River/Skokie Lagoons/Busse Woods 847-414-5883 Lagoon
773-704-2663 Chicago River
Fever River Outfitters  Galena, IL 61036 Galena River 815-776-9425
Freeport Canoe Company Freeport, IL Pecatonica River 815-541-0869
Geneseo Campground Geneseo, IL 61254 Hennepin Canal 309-944-6465
Kankakee River Canoe Rental  Wilmington, IL Kankakee 815-476-2801
Kayak Chicago Chicago, IL 60622 Chicago River and Lake MI 312-852-9258
Kayak Morris Morris, IL 60450 Mazon 630-567-4653
Kishwaukee Canoe Rockford, IL 61101 Kishwaukee River(Cherry Valley to New Milford) (815) 968-0711
Offshore Marine Veron Hills, IL 60061 Des Plaines River 847-283-0400
Reed’s Canoe Trips Kankakee, IL 60901-2194 Kankakee River 815-932-2663
Rocktown Adventures Loves Park, IL 61111 Rock 630-506-5706 Aurora
815-636-9066 Rockford
Rutabaga Paddlesport Shop Madison, WI 53716 Various 608-223-9300
Schmidt’s Canoeing Service Elgin, IL 60123 Fox 815-968-0711
T.J.’s Bait/Tackle and Canoe Rental Oregon, IL 61061 Rock 815-732-4516
TipACanoe Canoe Rentals Burlington, WI 53105 Fox, Nippersink 262-342-1012
Vermilion River Rafting Oglesby, IL 61348 North Vermilion 815-667-5242
White Crane Rentals Carbondale, IL 62902 Cache River 618-201-4090
Wisconsin River Outings Boscobel, WI 53805 Wisconsin River 608-375-5300


General Paddling Information

General Paddling Information

A comprehensive website on all paddlesports, events, gear, and clubs.

A global paddling online community.

General information on outdoor sports.

Haunted by Waters
Tom Lindblade’s video on paddling guiding.

Outdoor Play
Online gear shopping website.

General area paddling information.

Paddling Fitness
Information on how to paddle, to remain fit, and stay injury free.

Paddling Life
Online paddling magazine.

Rivers-End Midwestern Paddlesport Message Board


Streamflow / Weather Information

Free Topographical Maps, Aerial Photos

Paddling Clubs


Northern Illinois

Central Illinois

Southern Illinois

St. Charles Canoe Club’s 44th Annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race

The St. Charles Canoe Club will host its 44th annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race.  This long-standing iconic event will take place on May 7th, and has seen local, regional, national, and Olympic champions, as well as “first time” paddlers to the beautiful Fox River Valley.  Starting at Pottawatomie Park near downtown St. Charles, the race is nine miles long, four and a half miles upstream and four and a half back, with unique “S” curve buoy turns at the finish line area.

For the “relaxed racer,” there is a shorter six mile course up and back; don’t be afraid of the upstream part, because you can paddle near the shore line where there is hardly any current, making for an easy passage.  C1 and K1 races are in the morning and C2, as well as rec. kayaks and canoes in the afternoon.

See our web page for more detail: http://www.stcharlescanoeclub.com/.  You can also find us on facebook.

So, don’t be afraid – come on out and enjoy the Fox River.  This is also a good way to get ready for the Des Plaines and Mid-American canoe races later.

Karl Teske – St. Charles Canoe Club

Fox River National River Trail Update

By Greg Taylor

The Core Development Team (CDT) is currently working on developing the final draft of the reporting form that will be used by paddlers to gather the information that will be used to determine the database for the certification. The known entry/exit points and campsites along the river are currently being plotted on a map for a clearer understanding of where gaps are that need to be verified for their attributes, along with the age of the data that might need to be re-verified this summer. The age of some of the existing data might be too old to use and will have to be paddled again for a current condition (aka more than 7-10 years old? and older). Probably not a great loss-who doesn’t like an easy afternoon paddle on an easy flowing, tree-lined avenue?

I will be at CanoeCopia this March – on Saturday and Sunday – with a signup sheet for those who would like to help out with the ground-truthing, paddling information-gathering opportunities of the Initiative. I will be at the Prairie State Paddlers’ table (an excellent organization I might add) when I’m not checking out all the cool new gear and info that the fest has to offer. Anyone think a dew rag with the Fox River as an entry/exit map would be a good souvenir to those who help out? Stop by the table and give me your opinion, I’ll listen.

The Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddlesport Education

Greatly appreciates, again, the generous donations from Mrs. Helen Hartman, Sarah’s mother, Dave Hillman, Iowa, and the contributors to the silent auction last year. This fund supports paddlers who have successfully completed paddlesport instructor certification. Please see details on our website about qualifying for financial support from the Sarah Hartman Fund:


For upcoming instructional and certification courses (searchable by state):


Sample of Upcoming Skills Courses in Illinois:

Sunday, April 30, 2017 (Aurora):

Wednesday, May 10 – May 13, 2017 (Chicago)