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Explore Des Plaines River

This 133 miles or 214 kilometers long river is one of the most significant and historic streams in the whole of Chicago. The Des Plaines River runs through southern Wisconsin and the northern part of Illinois to fall into the Kankakee River at Joliet, subsequently making the Illinois River which itself is a part of the Mississippi. The Native Americans used to use this system of streams to travel across valleys and were the ones to show the voyagers, Marquette and Joliet, how to do the same. The river is now used as part of the Chicago Area Waterway system as well as the Illinois Waterway.


Regardless, the gorgeous body of water, surrounded by scenic greenery at all points, is open for visits and recreational activities by locals and visitors alike, allowing them to enjoy a refreshing time partaking in leisurely activities like kayaking and canoeing. In fact, it is the site where the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon, one of the oldest canoe racing competitions, takes place. These recreational areas have been especially conserved for such activities as parts of the river are heavily urbanized and are part of industrialized waterway systems, particularly around Joliet. You will find plenty of canoe launching ramps along the river in most counties that it traverses through. But it is to be kept in mind that the river does not allow speed boating and motor boating, which makes it the perfect spot for a family outing or peaceful picnic.


So if you are out in the Chicago area and are looking to spend some time connecting with nature and admiring the untouched beauty of all that life has to offer, head on down to one of the conserved parts of the Des Plaines River and invest some fun time as you play in the water with your friends or relax by the river with your family.



Kayaking Kayaking
Photography Photography
Rafting Rafting
Tourism Tourism


Child Friendly Child Friendly
Dog friendly Dog friendly
Picnic Area Picnic Area
Parking Parking
Restrooms Restrooms

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