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Glancer Magazine

SUMMER 2018 | Where to Go Boating


For those seeking a total boating adventure, did you know America's Great Loop, which is 1500 miles longer than the Nile River, can be accessed from Lake Michigan. This leg of your journey is 327 miles and extends from Chicago to Grafton, IL at the convergence of the Mississippi River. The most scenic route takes you from Lake Michigan, through the Chicago River Lock, and right through downtown Chicago down the Illinois River and onto the Mississippi.

Along the 14 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline there are 10 harbors operated by the Chicago Park District from which boaters can choose to launch their boats. Each harbor has its own unique neighborhood feel and you can browse through each to determine what works best for your boating needs at

But if you prefer to stay closer to home, the closest public boat launch in the western suburbs is on the Fox River at Boy Scout Island in St. Charles. They recently installed a new concrete launch and are open Memorial Day through Labor Day with the purchase of a daily or season pass.You can also head just a little further southwest to beautiful Starved Rock Country and Heritage Harbor in Ottawa which offers a State-of-the-Art Marina on the Illinois Waterway and boasts and an 8-foot deep harbor and 140 boat slips. Travel further north to the Fox 14 Marina with locations in Fox River Grove and Algonquin, both located on the Fox River. Did you know that the Fox Water Way is the busiest recreational waterway in the United States? Also up north in Delavan, WI is Lakelawn Resort Marina which offers a variety of boat, watersport rentals and tours.



Beyond the big boats on the big lakes, there are many opportunities to participate in water sports in smaller water bodies and quarries throughout the western suburbs as well as nearby Chicago. From motorized jet skis to paddling your way in a canoe, checkout the following hot spots for local rentals:

Rocktown Adventures in Aurora

Kayaks, Paddleboards, Canoes, and Fishing Kayaks

Kayak Myak Rentals in Elgin

Rent Kayaks from Kayak Myak and paddle down the Fox River. Paddling trips go from Carpentersville to Elgin, South Elgin to St. Charles or Batavia to North Aurora.

River View Miniature Golf Course – Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles

Pedal Boats and Kayaks rentals and Paddlewheel Riverboat tours

Fox River Canoe and Kayak

Enjoy planned trips in Batavia, St. Charles, and North Aurora

Chicago Water Sports Rentals

Jet Ski rentals, Hobie kayak & Paddleboard rental & SUP Yoga training



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