On The Trail – Trips and Distances

The Kankakee River offers a choice of paddling environments along its 133 miles. We’ve divided the river into four sections to reflect the distinctive characteristics of each:

  1. Upper River – Kankakee Headwaters to the Yellow River: This entirely channelized section runs through farmland, with very little tree cover in many areas.
  2. Wooded Channel – Yellow River to the State Line: This mostly channelized section has more tree cover and runs through several state parks and conservation areas.
  3. Ancient Wetland – State Line to Momence: At the Illinois state line, the river reverts to a natural meandering course through some of the best wetland habitat in the Prairie State.
  4. Grand Waterway – Momence to the Illinois River: A boater’s and paddler’s playground through urban and suburban areas, with a long run through Kankakee State Park before meeting the Illinois River.

Trips and Distance Charts – Allow at least 1 hour per 2 river miles travelled