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Rock River in Illinois

Trip Overview

We met with the folks at TJ's Bait and Canoe at around 12:30 to begin the 12 mile trip from their launch just south of the dam in Oregon.

It's a gentle trip down the river. A lot of little islands to explore, several large bluffs filled with swallows and a *huge* Eagles Nest about 2 miles south of the launch.

There are several great little stops around the halfway point for a packed lunch along the way including a stop in Castle Rock State Park with walkways up to the top of the bluffs for a beautiful view.

You can also launch at CRSP boat launch (free) and head south to Grand Detour. But I would recommend the full trip and utilizing the shuttle services provided by TJ's.

I cannot in words describe the wonderful relaxing time on this river. It at one time meanders around several small islands and then opens up into a wide flat river, only to close back down into more small islands.

This is an ideal river for beginners and those who do not like to portage either by handicap or just simply not wanting to.

If you leave out of TJ's there is also an overnight trip that can be done simply by camping at the primitive sites along the river at CRSP and then the following day continue down to Grand Detour for take out.

This is one of the most enjoying and simple trips I have done to date!

Photo Copyright 2002, Rick Munday


Great mom & pop diner and a cafe in the area. Plenty of Hotels and camping available in the area.


No fees for river use. Normal boat registration (Illinois) required. Shuttle fee required by TJ's (These are some super people - the best I have met in Illinois!), rental canoes also available.


Whichever route is easiest for you. For us it's Route 64 (E-W) all the way to Oregon. 39 is the closest N-S highway.

If coming in from the East, turn left heading south at the first road after the bridge that crosses the river. About a block down is TJ's Bait & Canoe.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip