The latter section to Channahon is flatwater, but most of the river moves with a good current, due to the gradient, and has a fast yet safe pace. Nothing rated more than a class I rapid anywhere, most are fast long ripples sections.
You can canoe it at almost any time of the year, but we recommend it to be run after a decent rain to get thru the 2 shallow areas that get low during a drier summer. Some of the shoreline is lined with homes, but it still has a nice countryside feel to it.
There are numerous put in and take out places along the river to shorten the trip.