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Best Fall Paddling?

Mike Clifford

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What have you guys found to be the best rivers in IL (or close by) to paddle in the Fall?

Smallies are certainly a bonus, but I'm looking to get the family out for some incredibly colorful landscapes.

The Kankakee virtually comes alive, but I've only paddled it in the summer- may have to give it a try during Autumn this year.

Any ideas?

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If my memory serves me, I recall some beautiful shots from Eric while kayaking the DuPage.


Also, I work in Wheeling, and the trees along the northern section of the Des Plaines really comes to life in the Fall. It is truly breathtaking if you time it right. Lots of mature trees in many vibrant colors.

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a little more detail,


Aux Sable Creek had few rapids and is basically a lazy flowing stream, still scenic however. Hickory Creek, the day we were on it was a little high but not too bad, a few log jams and a few quick turns. My partner, a few weeks later, wrapped his canoe around a tree and was fortunate he didn't drown, not recommended after significant rains. If the Chicago Paddling Council still has them, we used a Canoe Guide for access for the Aux Sable. PM for info on that if they don't produce that anymore!


Mark O'Donnell

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the lower fox in middle october has the best scenary you're going to find within an hour of the city. not to mention some great fishing. I posted pics last fall. I don't know if you can still get to them with the new board. I'll get around to it later if you can't still see them. If you haven't been down there. PM me or contact Ayer's Landing for Canoe shuttle service. It is worth the 40-50 bucks they charge. That time of year bring your minnow immitating stuff (sassy shads, raps, and white twisters) and of course anything brown or black that makes bottom contact...oh wait that's year round stuff! Good luck...

Wish I was there but I will be down on table rock in two weeks...paid vacation and rooms and gas kick but!!!


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