Growing up in the countryside of Northern Illinois, exploring rivers by kayak, canoe, or inflatable tube was always one of the most popular summer activities. There was nothing better than rounding up a group of friends, packing a cooler, grabbing the sunscreen, and launching out into the gentle waterways that flowed through town. For us, that was the mighty Kishwaukee River, known by locals as simply, “The Kish.” In fact, it’s likely the best river in Northern Illinois for canoeing and spending an idyllic summer day.

So, do you think this is the best river in Northern Illinois for canoeing? What’s your favorite thing to do in the Kish? Have another favorite Illinois river or waterway? Tell us in the comments! Learn more about the mighty Kish here, and consider making a day out of your river trip by spending time in the charming towns of Genoa, Kirkland, Sycamore, or DeKalb!

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