The lower Fox River may be the most beautiful place to canoe in the general vicinity of Chicago. The river is not dammed and retains most of its original in the stretch between Yorkville and Wedron.
My friend Michael and I launched my canoe just north of Sheridan, Illinois at spot owned by Ayers Canoe rental and floated down to Ayers Canoe Landing in Wedron (approximately 12 miles).
The river in this stretch is beautiful. There are several islands in the river with channels going around both sides. Most amazing are rock cliffs that are found in several spots on this trip. Some people refer to this section of the Fox as the Illinois Dells as it is reminiscent of the well know area on the Wisconsin River.
This section of the river also has several gravel bars which provide opportunities to pull over and go for a swim on a hot day. The water is surprising clean. To top things off, there is even a spot where some people run a snack bar along the river where you can pull up and get a grilled hamburger or brat. Pretty cool!
Take I-55 south to Us 52 and head west. After you cross the Fox River look for a sign that indicator that Wedron is south. Make a left and follow that road all the way to Wedron. Once you get to Wedron, you have to make a few turns to get down to Ayers. Ask anybody and they'll know where it is.
Ayers Canoe Landing in Wedron, Illinois