Hi, thenerd-ga !
This took a bit of digging, but I eventually found The Arcadia Outdoor
Guidebooks site, which lists Illinois outfitters at:
These include T.J.'s Bait / Tackle & Canoe Rentals . They are
30 miles SW of Rockford, with the slogan "Doin' Canoen' on the Rock" .
Contact details are:
305 South 1st Street
Oregon, Illinois 61061
The link to their web site: http://www.inwave.com/~canoe/ is currently
The five mile run between their premises and Castle Rock State Park
takes one to two hours, and they are operating in May. They are the
only operator I could find on the Rock River.
However, there are several operators on the Fox River which should
still be within your driving time (I'm assuming good roads) .
River Adventures look to be highly professional and seem to offer all
that you want. their website is:
They are located north of Ottawa at Dayton (where there's a dam). They
" daily canoe rentals, overnight tours and livery service on the
beautiful Fox River." I interpret that to mean they will offer you the
transport to the river that you want. They offer rental/tour packages.
From Elgin, which seems to be about 45 miles NE of Rockford. you will
Schmidt's Canoeing Service
1232 Ridgeway Court
Elgin, Illinois 60123
Link to their web site: http://www.canoetrips.net
They rent their canoes with all equipment, and their most popular run
between Voyageurs Landing and Buffalo Park on the Fox River takes
about the three to four hours you are looking for. They are operating
I am not sure if they would provide transport from where you are
staying to the river, but they do transport you from the finish point
back to the start.
Similarly on the Fox River there is The Canoe Shack in St. Charles,
(630) 584-8017 (847) 289-8966 (773) 348-5568
Their website is :
They do not accept email reservations. They say:
"Fox River trips meet in St. Charles at Ferson Creek Park, where you
are then transported up river, and canoe back to your vehicle at
Ferson Creek Park. ( Ferson Creek Park is on IL RT. 31 one mile north
of IL RT. 64 ). By special arrangement trips can meet in South Elgin
where you will launch your canoe, then you will be brought back to
your vehicle from Ferson Creek Park.
Trip One: $35.00
South Elgin to St. Charles. This seven mile trip is our most popular
and is a 2½ to 3½ hour trip. It starts below the dam in South Elgin
and ends at Ferson Creek Park in St. Charles. "
Some accommodation venues offer canoeing as one of their activities.
For example River House arranges package tours of up to four hours for
two people on the Pecatonica at.$35.00. Their website is :
The Willow Creek Resort also lists canoeing as one of its on site
activities. It has trailers for rent.
3509 South Bend Road
Rockford, IL 61109
Finally, a site dedicated to Rockford links at:
lists the Rockford Park District as providing canoeing courses with
Lake Ecology Canoeing, where equipment is provided, and there is 45
minutes of on land instruction before setting out. Unfortunately the
pdf file describing this in more detail is damaged.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources site at:
has some general information and
A Rock River web site at:
has some excellent historical information about the Rock River.
I hope this is useful. Did you know the Des Plaines Marathon canoe
race is held out of Libertyville in May?
Canoeing Rockford Illinois
Rock River Canoeing