Tip: Use our interactive map to locate specific canoe trails!
Paddle the waters of Nippersink Creek, the largest tributary to the Fox River. Portions of the creek have received a grade ‘A/B’ ranking due to its biological characterization, making it one of the finest streams in Illinois.
The creek and its wetlands support a thriving diversity of fish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures. Shorebirds, water fowl and other wading birds can be seen along the shorelines in addition to a myriad of native wetland plants and prairie wildflowers. The creek itself is a shallow, calm waterway.
There are four canoe launches along Nippersink Creek for put in/take out: Keystone Road Landing in Wonder Lake; Lyle C. Thomas Memorial Park in Spring Grove; Nippersink Canoe Base in Fox Lake; and Pioneer Road Landing, north of Harts Road in Ringwood. Estimated travel time along the longest stretch from Keystone Road to Nippersink Canoe Base can be up to four hours, while other stretches are estimated as two-hour paddles. Canoeing is also permitted on the 22-acre Lake Atwood at the Hollows in Cary.
The District does not rent water crafts. For rentals try:
Know before you Go: Check real - time water levels of Nippersink Creek. The second graph, which lists cubic feet per second, should be at least 50 for an enjoyable ride. You can also call the Conservation District's Brookdale Administrative Office at 815-338-6223.
During low precipitation periods of drought or high waters after heavy rains,
travel along the Nippersink is not advised.