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Kishwaukee River in Illinois

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

The Kishwaukee river is one of 2 Grade A rivers in Northern Illinois. It is very clean and the section between Belvidere and New Milford is shallow.

An 8-mile trip took us about 3 hrs at a leisurely pace. In dry spells there are a couple of place where you will need to get out and drag your boat for a short distance (usually 20ft). The river is marked with mile markers which makes it easy to judge your timing. Plenty of places to stop for lunch with picnic tables and parks for bathrooms along the way.

On the way, we saw an Osprey, Blue Herons and a tree full of Turkey Vultures (had to be at least 30). Fishing was good, Smallmouth Bass were biting well. It was sprinkling a bit here and there but fortunately it didn't downpour.
All in all a very good trip.


We had a great time as always using's livery service to transport us up the river 9 miles. They will tote you, your family and all of your equipment up the river for $20. Then you simply paddle down the river to the pullout where your car is parked. They have a campground there with pig roasts and events often. Very reasonably priced with great service.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location