Chicagoland Canoe Base


Let's start out the New Year the right way: Join us on the North Branch, January 1, 2012.

Details: Most participants own their own canoes and kayaks but rentals are available. Call 773-777-1489 for more details. Participants can organize their own car shuttles as in past years and buses also will be available, courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The District is also furnishing porta-potties and will have a sign-up tent at the start. Please be sure to sign in as we need to know the number of participants to encourage more recognition of paddlesports on our area waters.

Some start as early as 8 am and some show up as late as 10 or 11 am. Trip length is roughly 6 1/2 miles. We plan to meet afterwards at Hackney's on Lake Street in Glenview for some good food and camaraderie.

A change of clothing in a waterproof bag is suggested. Please watch this Safe Winter Paddling Video for good ideas to stay safe and warm.

Thanks to the Cook County Forest Preserve District, Bill Koenig and his staff at the volunteer office and our County F.P.D. Commissioner, Larry Suffredin, we had the river cleared of blockages, a school bus for car shifting, help at the portages, a new landing site at the finish in Linne Woods, and a hot drink and a snack at the finish line. A dock has been promised at the Winnetka Road dam to ease that problem in the future. More improvements are being planned for the North Branch Canoe Trail.

Scenes from previous trips

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We encourage all area paddlers to join us on this event as a strong turnout sends a strong message to our elected and regulatory officials that our area waterways are a tremendous recreational resource that is underused and can be used year-round. The annual New Years Day paddle is sponsored by the Cook County Forest Preserve District and is part of the ongoing effort by the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, the Open Lands Project, the Illinois Paddling Council and the Chicagoland Canoe Base to develop watertrails in our six county area. The North Branch of the Chicago River flowing through our scenic forest preserves needs our attention and help. For more information on how you can help, call Ralph Frese at 773-777-1489 or Email us at

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