One of the best ways to explore the natural areas of Lake County is by canoe. The views from the lake can offer up a totally new way to experience new areas, or give old favorites a new twist. Of course, routes vary by the level of adventure you’re looking for, but let’s discuss some of the more convenient options for canoeing in Independence Grove.
Rent a canoe and enjoy a leisurely experience on the Independence Grove Lake!
It’s only $8 for the first two hours and $4 for every hour after that to rent a canoe here. This is a great option for people who want to explore the main lake area. Remember: ONLY rental canoes are allowed on the lake, and they have to stay on the lake. If you want to explore the Des Plaines River, you’ll have to bring your own canoe.
Have your own canoe and want a more extreme adventure?
From Independence Grove to the Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch, it’s 2.7 miles and around 1.5 hours down the Des Plaines River. It can get pretty shallow and you might have to wade through some spots, so wear shoes that lace up so they don’t float away!
Oak Spring to Route 60
The next boat launch after Oak Spring is the Route 60 Canoe Launch, which is 4.6
miles and can take about 3 hours to get to. Luckily this portion is mostly log and jam free.
Route 60 to Rivershire Park
This next bit is about 4.5 miles and can take between 2-3 hours but this section is also pretty snag free, so enjoy the smooth sailing.
Rivershire Park to Damn #1 Woods in Cook County
This 6 mile portion is for the seasoned canoeing veterans only! It’s 6 miles, takes more than 3 hours and involves a mandatory portage around dam #1 near Lake Cook Road. Now might be a good time to turn around anyway because if my math is correct… you just canoed for about 11 hours.
Obviously these options offer very different experiences for people looking for a canoe adventure, but they all start at Independence Grove in Libertyville. It offers canoeing activities from everything from an easy paddle around a small lake, to a daylong voyage of a lifetime.
*Tip! Don’t forget that you have to turn around at some point and paddle back upstream, which could take much longer!! To avoid this, choose your final destination before you begin. Drop off a second car, or arrange for a pick up at your final stopping point. Lock up your canoe! Then, return to your car from Independence Grove and drive back to where you left your canoe.
Wherever the ride takes you, be sure to share your pictures with us! #visitlakecounty #lakecountyillinois