The Forest Preserve offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities at locations throughout Will County.

Canoeing and kayaking regulations

All Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) watercraft regulations are enforced.

All persons in a rented canoe or kayak must wear a personal flotation device at Monee Reservoir and at District-sponsored programs. Children under the age of 13 must wear PFDs in all instances when on water.

Swimming, wading, paddle boards and float tubes (belly boats) are prohibited. Persons must be entirely secured in watercraft.

Inflatable watercraft is permitted.

Individuals must be 12 years old or older to launch a personal canoe or kayak at Monee Reservoir. Those younger than 18 years of age must also be accompanied by an adult on the water.

No launch pass is required at this or other designated Forest Preserve locations.

Additional regulations do apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124 or call 815-727-8700.



Canoeing and kayaking programs

Canoeing and kayaking programs are offered seasonally at select preserves. Visit the Event Calendar for program listings.

Canoeing and kayaking locations

Canoe/kayak launches are available at four of the Forest Preserve's fishing lakes: Whalon Lake in Naperville, Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet, Lake Chaminwood Preserve in Minooka and Monee Reservoir.

Canoe/kayak launches are also available at the following preserves for access to local rivers:

  •     Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access in Shorewood (DuPage River) 
  •     Hammel Woods – Route 59 Access in Shorewood (DuPage River)
  •     Riverview Farmstead Preserve in Naperville (DuPage River)
  •     McKinley Woods – Frederick's Grove in Channahon (Des Plaines River and I&M Canal)
  •     McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove in Channahon (DuPage River)
  •     Isle a la Cache in Romeoville (Des Plaines River)

Unless otherwise posted, canoes and kayaks may be launched on Forest Preserve property at the above listed locations year-round except when there is ice on the water, in which case it is prohibited. Please note: District boat launches close for the season on October 31.

Activity fees

Canoe/kayak rentals at Monee Reservoir

Canoes and kayaks are available for rental at Monee Reservoir May 1-September 30. Canoes and kayaks are rented on a first-come, first-served basis and life vests, oars and paddles are included with rentals. Canoes have a maximum capacity of three persons per canoe. Regular kayaks have a maximum capacity of one person per kayak, and tandem kayaks have a maximum capacity of two persons per kayak.

A $20 cash deposit is required on all boat rentals. Renters must be 18 years old and bring a valid driver's license or state ID. A $20 late fee will be charged if boats are not returned by 5 p.m. in April and September 15-September 30, or 7 p.m. May 1-September 14.

Activity Fee: $15/hour, $35/half-day

Kayak rentals at Whalon Lake

Kayak rentals are being offered by The Forge at Whalon Lake, which obtained a concessions license with the District. 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. Current costs and hours that rentals are available can be found on The Forge's Whalon Lake Kayak Rentals website.