Paddle and hike - Ottawa, IL

Meet at the boat launch in (South) Ottawa at 10 am. Plan to paddle Fox and/or Illinois Rivers for 2-3 hours. This is a beautiful area with bluffs, islands and the Fox meandering up through Ottawa a bit. Let's hope for some fall foliage! Then head over to Mattheissen or Starved Rock for a couple hours of hiking/wandering around. Followed by dinner at the Cajun Connection in Utica.

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  • Jeff and Deb A.

    Glad to hear you all had a good time last weekend. I can only imagine how beautiful the colors were.

    October 26, 2013

  • Beth H.

    It was a great fall day. The pools of jumping asian carp were amazing! Thanks, everyone, for joining me.

    October 21, 2013

  • Karen K

    It was nice to find new sections of the Illinois and Fox to paddle. Matthiessen was gorgeous and at peak color.

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll try to be ready to launch at 10am. Who else is coming? I will be to the west of the railroad. Notice the circle of grass in the middle of the parking lot and the beach.

    October 20, 2013

  • Karen K

    Another question - is 10am the be there meeting time or the kayak unloaded ready to paddle time.

    October 19, 2013

  • Karen K

    If we go to Mattheisson later does someone have a link to where you park. I could not find a visitor center on google - just the one at starved rock. Is this the road to the parking (I did not put the arrow on the bldg as then the directions jumped to the road by the country club). Is this the right way though. http://goo.gl/maps/wJHLL

    October 19, 2013

  • Karen K

    I have an extra pfd I can bring.

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I put in at the west end of the park. Left under the RR tracks. A beach launch area. There several boat ramps too.

    October 19, 2013

  • Beth H.

    At intersection of 6 & 178.

    October 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      October 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Use the above link to get directions to Cajun Connection.

      October 19, 2013

  • Beth H.

    Anyone have an extra PFD? My friend Kim is coming and just bought her boat this week but no PDF yet. Also I am bringing snacks/my lunch and some quinoa salad to share. Picnic at Allen Park after paddling or mid-paddle?

    October 19, 2013

  • Beth H.

    Ron's Cajun Connection 897 E Hwy 6, Utica

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cajun Connection will be on Chicago's Best. IL best?

    http://chicagosbesttv.com/map/

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mattheissen is were I XC ski in the winter. Highly recommended!

    October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in for the paddling.

    October 18, 2013

  • Dave P.

    I would go for Mattheissen too! I don't think that I have ever been there either

    October 18, 2013

  • Karen K

    I'll come too. I prefer Mattheissen mainly because I have not been there and I hear it's beautiful. Either Starved Rock or Mattheissen is ok though.

    October 17, 2013

  • Beth H.

    No problem Dave, not in a hurry! Just want to be outside and see some different scenery. Any preference between Mattheissen and Starved Rock for hiking?

    October 17, 2013

  • Dave P.

    I'm in. I have a 14ft solo canoe built for tripping, like to the Boundary Waters so I might be a bit slower than most.

    October 17, 2013

  • Ben T

    Sounds nice, but I can't do Sunday.

    October 16, 2013

  • Karen K

    The downstream paddle on the Illinois looks nice.Upstream you can't go far. I looked on the map and Heritage harbor is about 2 1/2 miles from the put in . After that there is the lock and dam so I would guess most people turn around at the harbor. Hunters can be anywhere upstream or downstream but I think they would get in trouble shooting people in the main channel on the Illinois. I would take Barry's advice on the nicest paddle. On the Illinois near Chillecothe etc it's mainly the backwaters you have to more careful about with hunters. (or if you hear shooting of course). If you are really worried we could avoid the morning hours. I'm not sure how far upstream we could get on the fox, if that would be a short paddle or not.

    October 15, 2013

  • Beth H.

    Sorry but I can't go on Saturday this weekend.

    October 15, 2013

  • Beth H.

    No shuttling. We'll go up the Fox as far as the water level allows and back then up the Illinois as time allows then finish going back downriver to our vehicles. My boat is 15'. I don't know what the water level is on the Fox but we'll turn around when it gets too shallow so I suggest bringing your longer boat.

    October 15, 2013

  • Beth H.

    No shuttling. We'll go up the Fox as far as the water level allows and back then up the Illinois as time allows then finish going back downriver to our vehicles. My boat is 15'. I don't know what the water level is on the Fox but we'll turn around when it gets too shallow so I suggest bringing your longer boat.

    October 15, 2013

  • Karen K

    I have not done either area around there.- There is a starved rock marina about 7 miles from your put in - I don't know if it's public. There is a dam at starved rock - it's before the dam of course. I got the sense you meant to paddle both directions on the Illinois and avoid a shuttle. How long is your boat - When I've paddled the illinois I have a big difference in speed depending on the size of my boat and which one I take might depend on what others have too. Another question - any chance for Saturday instead of Sunday for the paddle?

    October 15, 2013

  • Beth H.

    I'm not that familiar with the area but have been wanting to explore. Using Barry's suggestion I'd like to go up the Fox as far as we can before running out of water and then depending on time up the Illinois some. Would rather not have to worry about hunters. Be sure to wear bright colors. Thanks for that info Barry. How far is Heritage Harbor? It's not noted on my Gazetteer map.

    October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I could recommend some destinations. Going upstream on the IL river from Ottawa, it is a short paddle to Heritage Harbor. You might save that for the end of the paddle. You could go up the Fox river through Ottawa until it got too shallow, or the current too strong. Downstream on the IL there is some nice paddling along river left. It will be youth duck hunting season, so keep an eye out for blinds, and give them a wide berth.

    October 15, 2013

  • Karen H.

    Are you going upstream then on the fox? To the north of the launch area?

    October 15, 2013

  • Karen K

    I am definitely interested. Which section of the Illinois or Fox - I have a fiberglass necky (15') I prefer on the Illinois but not usually on the Fox as I don't like to scrape bottom with it. I've got a 12' plastic boat too. The section you are thinking of - would there be much scraping?

    October 15, 2013

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