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Salt Creek in Illinois

Trip Overview

I paddled the Salt Creek from the put-in off Wolf Road to 17th Avenue. Very pleasant except for the problems. Lots of wildlife (middle of the metropolitan area, you know). Only one dam in that entire stretch and that has a by-pass chute. I did, however, encounter a tree across the entire creek at one point east of Wolf Road. I had to hop out in 3 feet of water, wade over to the other side of the creek, climb over the tree at the upper end of the branches, wade back across to the base of the trunk and pull my kayak over the trunk. Ah well, "What went ye into the wilderness to find? A man clothed in soft raiment?"

The other problem was the take-out at 26th Street Preserve. I found out that it is officially designated as "unimproved". That was an understatement. I ended up hauling out onto a mud bank at 17th Avenue. The only decent take-out that I know of is in Brookfield by the park. That's very steep, but is made of hard gravel.


The put-in at the picnic grove off Wolf Road is great. All well-graded gravel and not too steep. Also very near the parking area.

The take-out at 26th Street Preserve does not deserve the designation.


No fees or permits are, to my knowledge, required, other than the Illinois water usage stamp on your watercraft.


From Wolf Road and 31st Street in Westchester, travel one-quarter mile South and turn right into the Forest Preserve picnic grove. Follow the grove drive about a quarter mile to the put-in at the pedestrian bridge.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip