It’s one thing to walk by the Fox River or drive above it. It’s a whole other thing to actually be out on the water. What better way to experience the beauty, tranquility and wonder of this diverse natural habitat than to rent a canoe or pedal boat from St. Charles Park District staff at River View Miniature Golf?
With eight pedal boats and two canoes available for rental every day, there’s more than enough fun to go around. Boaters can rent either type of craft for an hour for $15 or make reservations for multiple hours, with a $5 discount offered on "Rent-a-Boat" Wednesdays.
“It’s one of the most popular activities,” said Meg Jourden-Messerich, assistant superintendent of recreation. “People visit the park and River View Miniature Golf just to rent one of the boats.”
And why not? For families, couples or a group of friends, it’s a fun, relaxing way to spend quality time on the water. Pedal boats are easy to maneuver, but being people-powered, they also provide a great physical workout. Canoes can provide a slower, more serene way of getting to know the river’s natural areas as boaters glide along at nearly duck-eye level. And for anyone thinking about purchasing a canoe for personal use, it’s a great way to test the waters, so to speak.
“It’s a nice way to explore how canoes work and get to know the craft,” said Jourden-Messerich.
Whether one is a newbie pedaler or old rowing hand, safety comes first when renting one of these pleasure craft. Children, ages 15 and younger, must be accompanied by an adult. All guests are provided a life jacket, and park district staff make sure it is fitted properly, according to Jourden-Messerich. A staff member will assist boaters in entering and exiting the boats and review safety rules and regulations. Once out on the river, staff monitor boaters’ activities and encourage craft to stay within a pre-determined course visible from the miniature golf course riverfront.
Unique within the Tri-City area, St. Charles is the only park district to offer pleasure water craft rental. “We are so fortunate to have this serene and beautiful natural resource running through the park,” said Jourden-Messerich. “It’s just a nice, peaceful way to spend time out on the river and create some wonderful memories.”
Canoes and pedal boats are available at the launch at River View Miniature Golf daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through late August. Rentals are subject to safe river conditions, and a valid driver’s license or state ID is required as a deposit. Boat rentals will not be available on Friday, Aug. 1. For more information, contact River View Miniature Golf at 630-584-1028.