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Wilmington Dam to Des Plaines Conservation Area Boat Launch - Paddle Illinois Water Trails

Wilmington Dam to Des Plaines Conservation Area Boat Launch

  • Skill Level:Beginner to Intermediate depending on water levels
  • Trail Length:5.65 miles
  • Waterway Trail:Kankakee River Trails
Intermediate, Kankakee River Trails, Medium Trips

Wilmington Dam to Des Plaines Conservation Area Boat Launch

Directions: Put-in downstream of the Wilmington Dam or at the downstream end of South Island, which on the east bank of the Kankakee River, in downtown Wilmington.

The take-out is on river right approximately 1.5 miles past the I-55 Bridge.
Access the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area Boat Launch from the west side of N. River Road, just north of the intersection with I-55.

Note: Camping is available at the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area. The campground is open from mid-April to mid-October, closed the rest of the year.

  • Directions: Put-in downstream of the Wilmington Dam or at the downstream end of South Island, which on the east bank of the Kankakee River, in downtown Wilmington.
  • The take-out is on river right approximately 1.5 miles past the I-55 Bridge.
  • Access the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area Boat Launch from the west side of N. River Road, just north of the intersection with I-55.
  • Note: Camping is available at the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area. The campground is open from mid-April to mid-October, closed the rest of the year.

2 Comments

Openlands
March 26, 2021

Hello
First and foremost I wanted to say the descriptions of the Kankakee river entry and exit points are spot on. They are described like who ever made the site has traveled these waters. I am from the Wilmington area and I just had one question, I don’t believe The city of Wilmington allows any entry to the Kankakee river from the islands. Just curious where the info came from to get the ok to launch from the islands? Not saying the city is really strict on the rules and I think all should be able to utilize the river. The entry points don’t really scare me it’s the exit point to the right of the dam that does. Readers not familiar with the area may not realize if you accidentally go over the Wilmington dam you will die. Plain and simple a terrible accident and in the end Wilmington residents are the ones that take the blame. So just curious where the info came from to allow exit and entry points? Maybe it was long before our current wrongful death lawsuit that is still in court.

Glennden
March 26, 2021

Hello
First and foremost I wanted to say the descriptions of the Kankakee river entry and exit points are spot on. They are described like who ever made the site has traveled these waters. I am from the Wilmington area and I just had one question, I don’t believe The city of Wilmington allows any entry to the Kankakee river from the islands. Just curious where the info came from to get the ok to launch from the islands? Not saying the city is really strict on the rules and I think all should be able to utilize the river. The entry points don’t really scare me it’s the exit point to the right of the dam that does. Readers not familiar with the area may not realize if you accidentally go over the Wilmington dam you will die. Plain and simple a terrible accident and in the end Wilmington residents are the ones that take the blame. So just curious where the info came from to allow exit and entry points? Maybe it was long before our current wrongful death lawsuit that is still in court.

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