In the early 1900s, the Fox River put St. Charles on the map, drawing people near and far to its shores to swim, boat and canoe. More than 100 years later, the river is still the picturesque centerpiece of town, and continues to offer numerous summer recreational possibilities. Renovations to existing public boat launches by the St. Charles Park District also have enhanced the summer boating experience.
“The Fox River is a magnificent and valuable natural resource. We are grateful for the opportunity to be good stewards of it,” said Laura Rudow, Superintendent of Parks and Planning, Deputy Director. “Boating and paddle sports are lifelong activities. Whether it’s on a kayak, paddleboat or motorboat, cruising the river is something all ages can enjoy.”
The Park District makes it easy and convenient to take advantage of the river with many new kayaking lessons and boat rentals.
In Intro to Kayaking for ages 16+, participants will learn how to kayak, practice basic paddling strokes, rescue techniques and more. The lesson begins with 30 minutes of safety instruction from Rocktown Adventures on land before putting kayaks in the river for a leisurely paddle. Held from 5:30-8:30pm at Ferson Creek Park along the Fox River, classes are available on July 18 and August 8.
Kayak Fishing for ages 13+, let the experts of ChiYak Adventures teach you how to fish from a kayak! Afloat on the Fox River, you’ll have access to areas not accessible from the shoreline. Learn tips & tricks to catching the river’s most common fish like bluegill, walleye and bass. If you’re lucky, you might even snag a catfish or muskie. Kayak’s and life-jackets included. Fishing gear not included. A July 15 class will be held at Dunham Pond. July 24 and August 4 classes will be held in Mt. St. Mary Park.
Residents who want to enjoy the beauty of the river but are missing a boat should head to Pottawatomie Park to rent a kayak or four-person pedal boat. For $19 per hour, per boat, families, couples and friends can take their time and explore the river from the railroad trestle to the south, to the no wake buoys to the north. The fee includes life jackets. For more information about rentals, visit www.riverviewminigolf.org
Additionally, there are public boat launches on various sides of town: Mt. St. Mary Park on the south, Ferson Creek Park on the north and Boy Scout Island in between. Ferson Creek has a low-profile dock for a more convenient launch site for kayaks, canoes and rowing sculls. For more information about public boat launches, call 630-584-1885.