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Columns

Fox River provides endless summer boating opportunities

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 the town, and it continues to offer numerous summer recreational possibilities. Renovations to public boat launches by the St. Charles Park District 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 kayaking lessons and boat rentals.

In Intro to Kayaking for ages 16 and over, 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 the kayaks in the river for a leisurely paddle. Classes, which are available July 18 and Aug. 8, take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Ferson Creek Park along the Fox River.

Kayak Fishing for ages 13 and over lets 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 and tricks to catching the river’s most common fish – bluegill, walleye and bass. If you’re lucky, you might even snag a catfish or muskie. Kayaks and life jackets are included. Fishing gear is not included. The July 15 class will be at Dunham Pond. The July 24 and Aug. 4 classes will be in Mount St. Mary Park.

Residents who want to enjoy the beauty of the river but don’t have 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 information about rentals, visit www.riverviewminigolf.org.

There are public boat launches at Mount St. Mary Park, Ferson Creek Park and Boy Scout Island. Ferson Creek has a low-profile dock for a more convenient launch site for kayaks, canoes and rowing sculls. For information about public boat launches, call 630-584-1885.

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