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Middle Fork of Vermillion River in Illinois

Trip Overview

Middle Fork River, a branch of what the locals refer to as the "Big Vermilion." Myself as well as two friends, took our kayaks into Kickapoo Park on a rainy May morning to attempt an 8 mile section of this slow running river.

The kayaks used were an Old Town Loon 120 Rec. kayak, an Old Town Dirigo 120 Rec. and a Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Kayak. All handled the water with ease and showed little wear at the end of the trip. If you don't have your own watercraft, the park rents out canoes and kayaks as well as provides a shuttle service that drops-off and picks-up paddlers. This fee is roughly $13 per person.

We, having done this section before, chose not to utilize the shuttle service and instead brought two vehicles. We parked one at the ending point and drove the other to the public access point where we put-in and began our adventure.

Due to heavy rains for most of the previous month, the river was high and moving quite fast. The depth varied from anywhere between 5-7 inches to 5-6 feet in depth and the current maintained about a 2-3mph pace. With some shallow areas, obviously came large rocks protruding from the surface that must be avoided. All-in-all though, the water was easily paddled.

Footage taped from my GoPro camera, shows that the trip took us roughly 2 hours to complete (2 hours, 16min.) This time was attained with minimal effort as we leisurely paddled and just sat back to enjoy the scenery.


Kickapoo has an eating establishment located next to the Canoe and Kayak Rental. They also maintain a few restroom facilities throughout the park.

Danville being only a few miles away, also has many restaurants and hotels that can be used if necessary.


Kayak and Canoe / Shuttle Rental is somewhere around the $13 range per person.


I-57 to I-74 E
Get off I-74 to US 150 W
Turn right onto Country Rd. 1180 E
Follow and Turn right onto Skyline Drive - This will lead you into the park.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip