My son and I put in at Ryan Bridge in Cumberland County, Illinois. The bridge is on Co. Rd 1200, and includes a county-owned public parking lot. The stretch we paddled is the route of an annual canoe race for local charity.
Due to an unusually wet spring and summer, the Embarras was running above-average depth. We had only one place where we had to exit our kayaks due to low water, and we only drug them for about 15 feet. The river was very crooked, but was in no way tiresome to traverse. Along the way we saw an old sunken aluminum boat, a beaver, blue heron, and three Bald Eagles. With a short stop for lunch on a sandbar, and a few rest stops to stretch my back, we completed the 14 mile stretch in 5.5 hours.
During the trip it was nice to NOT see any houses (due to tall banks), people, and only one road until we went under Interstate 70 at the exit point. My son did throw a fishing line in and what appeared to be a large fish snapped his line.
We exited the river at the public ramp at Greenup, Illinois. All-in-all it was a great day spent with my adult son.