Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Fox River, a delicious treat and learn about the local history and wildlife of the waterway with a pair of fantastic cruises hosted by the St. Charles Park District.
The park district’s nature ambassador Pam Otto, author of the weekly Good Natured column that appears in the Kane County Chronicle as well as on Kane County Connects, will be the featured speaker aboard the Riverboat Eco Float on Thursday Aug. 19. This family-friendly cruise, which runs from 6:15-7:15 p.m. ,offers a chance to learn about the cultural significance of the river as well as the vast numbers of wildlife that depend on it, from the flathead catfish and muskie swimming deep in the water to the minks and muskrats that forage along the shallow shores.
“We actually have a plentiful mink population living near the water and if we’re really lucky we might see one,” Otto said.
To make the cruise even sweeter, it includes hand-made root beer floats featuring fresh custard from cruise sponsor, Culver’s.
“It’s an unbeatable combination,” Otto said.
Eco Float participants will leave from Pottawatomie Park aboard one of the historic paddlewheel riverboats. The cruises are a gentle way to traverse the Fox River, giving those aboard a chance to relax and take in plenty of sights along the shoreline.
Otto said with each cruise there is something new to see, whether it is the beautiful views of rare natural areas or the glimpse of wildlife including small mammals and birds.
Otto will also lead the Monarchs & Margaritas cruise on Saturday Aug. 28. This cruise is for adults 21 and older, and includes a pre-cruise talk about monarch butterflies while enjoying chips, salsa and a margarita before boarding for an evening cruise. This event starts at 5 p.m.
The monarch butterfly is remarkable in that its annual cycle includes what is known as a super generation. These individuals that are specially adapted to undertake a fantastic journey to the mountains of Mexico where they then spend the winter.
With increased understanding of the monarchs and the appreciation for their beauty, as well as concern for their welfare, more people are adding native plants, such as milkweed, to their home gardens to provide needed habitat for monarchs. This species must lay its eggs on milkweed in order for its caterpillars to survive, Otto said.
In addition to these specialty cruises the park district offers several cruising options, from daytime to sunset cruises as well as private charter cruises available upon request.
Whether aboard a guided cruise or simply out for a ride on the Fox River, Otto said there is plenty to enjoy and a chance to appreciate the role of the river and the views from the paddlewheel riverboats.
For more details: stcriverboats.com