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Central Illinois Canoe and Paddling Meetup Group Message Board Canoe & Paddling Meetup Group General Discussion Forum › Spoon River Access Points, Camping, and Canoe/Kayak Rentals

Spoon River Access Points, Camping, and Canoe/Kayak Rentals

Karen K
user 41839752
Group Organizer
Peoria, IL
Post #: 53
This is a copy of a post from a year or two ago I am posting for anyone interested in the Spoon since Put-ins and take-outs are limited as most of them are on private property. Check water gauges if you are interested in a trip as it can be dangerous when too high and a walk when too low. Some of these camps and put-ins need 4 wheel drive to access - esp the one at Low Point. There are other put-ins listed in Svob's book also.

I had a very pleasant conversation with Stu Harrison He currently rents canoes and kayaks for the Spoon River and is planning in the near future to set up a Spoon River Outdoors business.

He has 5 excellent put-ins on property he owns. He would like anyone interested in using them to contact him first and for liability reasons he requests a liability waiver be signed before using his property. With the use of his access points it allows multiple 5 - 12 mile trips on the Spoon if you combine them or use them with public access points. Below is his description of these access areas. I've included approx GPS coordinates plus aerial photos and maps after his description.

Understandably he expects people to treat his property with respect and " always cleanup behind yourselves....we have one simple rule,
"leave the legendary river better than when you first arrived".

Again please contact him by the email address listed above before using his property. If you have friends you want to take canoeing who do not own a canoe or kayak he has rentals.

Here are the 5 sites, by number ...with the northern most first:

1) TURTLE SHELL [Deerfield Twp] 40°33'21.27"N 90°18'14.93"W
Take Turtle Shell road to the bottom. Turn right where the sign is located and
follow dirt road....when you go over the culvert, turn left and travel to Spoonie....
camp sites are left and right.
The 500ft long sanding beach and river is easy brainer!!

2) TARTER FERRY BRIDGE [Cass and Farmers and Bernadotte TWP] 40°26'47.37"N 90°21'2.17"W
This location is found by traveling south on CR 2 until "Howard Road" is
reached. Turn right and follow Howard all the way to the end.
turn left onto Tarter Ferry Road.. Follow road all the way to the bottom.[dirt road]
Camp sites are on the left side, next to Old Tarter Ferry Bridge. Beach is a little steep
but doable. Pristine one within 3/4 mile in all directions
[A mile down stream is "DERRY" site....on Dairy Farm/Derry site....not used much]

3] BERNADOTTE DOWNTOWN [Bernadotte TWP] 40°24'9.61"N 90°19'17.90"W
This is found by turning right off CR 2 towards Bernadotte; and then taking the first right onto Old Bridge Rd.
Travel 200ft and turn left into Willow Bay Lane....The Canoe ramp is right next
to Willow Bay metal shed....[There is a house up on blocks across from Willow Bay.
This site is behind Bernadotte Cafe. EZ to find.]

4) ELROD [Bernadotte TWP] 40°23'30.50"N 90°15'33.41"W
This is found by following CR 2 south until Airport road is reached. Turn left[east]
Follow Airport Rd,[ The road veers left and then turns right in its the flow pattern]
Continue following Airport until LADD's Rd is reached. The old Eldrod Schoohouse
is on the NW corner. Turn Left and follow the road, and then down to the
bottom. At the bottom are campsites and firepit areas. Turn right at the bottom and travel 150 ft and
then turn left...RAMP is located here. [The Cabin is located just before you reach
the bottom....road veers left.] Pristine one around within one mile in
all directions.

5] LOW POINTE BEACH [Bernadotte TWP] 40°21'48.91"N 90°13'0.75"W
This is not easy to is south of Elrod.
Instead of turning left at Elrod Schoolhouse, keep on traveling straight until
Jockisch Rd is reached. Turn right [south] and travel 1/2 mi....road turns left onto
Mile Load Road....Follow Mile Load until you cross "OLD WOODEN" railroad
bridge. As soon as you cross 200ft up the little hill. Turn left onto
"no name road"???. Go down hill and Follow road straight across and over railroad tracks.
Travel Straight. Once you get to fence straight and look for
land that turns right and down to river. Campsites & Beach are anywhere
you want to set one around for a mile in all directions

He also said your best bet for a trip with low water is 3. Bernadotte to 4. Elrod....easy to paddle/float whether in low or
high water....only one low spot..Easy out. [about 4-5 miles by river...deeper and has
a couple one mile straightaways...lots of nice sandbars

Camping, as noted, is available. Per Stu " You can camp at Turtle Shell next to the beach - individual campsite areas are along wooded edges and have been cleared for tents or campers. No cost at this time. (10/8/11). Elrod and Willow Bay sites have electrical connections for motor homes or campers. Cost is $8/day for electricity - no other costs at this time." Please email Stu if you plan to camp.
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