Kayaking in Illinois

Kayaking Trips in Illinois

Illinois is home to some unique urban kayaking experiences as well as quiet natural experiences on the many lakes and rivers of the state. Find kayaking trips in Illinois for every level of kayaker. Whether you're looking for a guided trip, kayak rentals, self-guided, day trip, multi-day trip, or anything in between, there's a kayaking trip in Illinois for you. If you've paddled here before, be sure to share your trip with the rest of us!

Kayaking in Illinois

Guide to Kayaking in Illinois

Read on for guides to planning your own kayaking trip to Illinois, seeking out an outfitted trip, connecting with other Illinois paddlers, and many other resources! Paddle right through the city or check out other paddling highlights on:

  • Lake Michigan
  • Chicago River
  • Wabash River
  • The Mississippi River

~Sponsored by the USCG and Watersports Foundation~

Planning a paddling trip? Practice Safer Paddling and remember to ALWAYS WEAR A LIFE JACKET!

Kayaking Locations in Illinois

If you want to plot your own route, check out all paddling locations in Illinois! Search thousands of put-in and take-out locations on our Paddling Locations Map and be sure to download the Go Paddling app where you can save favorites or create and share a float plan!

Plan a Kayaking Trip to Illinois

Over the years, many of our paddlers have paddled throughout Illinois and were so generous to share their paddling experiences with us in a community trip report. Read a few examples of Illinois community trip reports below:

Have you paddled in Illinois? Post Your Trip and share with the community!

Articles about Illinois Paddling

The Great Lakes: A Little Slice of the Sea

Deep in the heart of North America, surrounded by forest and field, there is an ocean. A vast inland sea containing nearly a quarter of the world's fresh water — enough to flood the lower 48 states to a depth of almost ten feet — the Great Lakes contain upwards of 35,000 islands, and their 10,000 miles of shore rival that of the US ocean coastlines.

Connect with Paddlers in Illinois

Looking to connect with other paddlers in Illinois? Below are a number of resources to help get you started:

Kayak Outfitters in Illinois

Looking to rent a kayak or go on a guided trip? Check out these outfitters in Illinois:

Canoeing in Illinois