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MOM'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK | St. Charles Park District Canoeing


Summer is all about water fun and being outside as much as possible. In the Western Suburbs, we are fortunate to be near the Du Page River and the Fox River to take advantage of the many water activities available on each. A recent adventure took us to St. Charles to learn the art of quiet-canoeing.

Through a class available at the St. Charles Park District (, anyone ages 9 and over can learn how to canoe independently. Instruction took place in a classroom for the first half of the class and then the kids were given the opportunity to lower a canoe into the Fox River and take their classroom lesson to a real life adventure. They were first challenged to paddle in a large circle and once they confidently displayed their skills, were permitted to paddle across the river and back and then race their friends. They discovered water safety, independence, and confidence along the way. All canoes, paddles, and life jackets were provided by the park district. The thrill of being on the open water in their own boat has broadened their horizons to take on more challenging canoe trips down the Fox River.

Various canoe trips are available for families and/or parent/child trips through area venues such as the Oswego Park District ( launching program from Freeman’s Canoe Rental in Yorkville, where children 6 and older can participate with an adult and float and paddle a five mile stretch of the Fox River from Yorkville to Silver Springs State Park. The trip is approximately 2-3 hours long and the fee is only $29/non-resident. Just want to try your hand at canoeing but don’t feel like taking a class or a 3 hour canoe trip? Head to River View Miniature Golf Complex at St. Charles Pottawatomie Park. Pedal boat and canoe rentals launch from May 19 through August 16, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $15 per hour/per boat. The fee includes life jackets and paddles. Rentals are open to all ages so long as children 15 and under are accompanied by an adult, 18 and older.

As you broaden your horizons and gain a love for canoeing, checkout websites like for area locations that rent canoes and organize day trips down the various waterways in Illinois, or stay local with for trips departing from Batavia, St. Charles, and North Aurora.