Author Topic: Des Plaines River  (Read 1877 times)

MikeC

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Des Plaines River
« on: March 28, 2015, 07:06:03 PM »

Overview

The Des Plaines River begins in Wisconsin, in Racine County, and flows south into Illinois as a small, prairie stream.

It runs approximately ninety-five miles through four counties in Illinois, to its confluence with the Kankakee River at Channahon, and forms the Illinois River. Along the way, it changes its character (and legal classification) from prairie stream, to large urban river, to major industrial waterway.

At its headwaters, the Des Plaines River, like all rivers in Wisconsin, is considered "navigable" and legally accessible by the public. When the river enters Illinois it becomes a "non-navigable" river until it reaches the Hofmann Dam, in Riverside, just north of Ogden Avenue. Here, it once again becomes a public and navigable waterway to its end at the confluence with the Kankakee River.

Fortunately for recreational users, Lake and Cook County Forest Preserve Districts have protected long stretches of the river by developing a Des Plaines River greenway and bike path along its banks. They are in the process of implementing a plan to link all the forest preserves with a regional greenway trail and have developed and promoted the recreational use of the river by creating canoe launch sites on the northern and middle section of the river. The lack of trailered-boat ramps make this long river a quiet, beginner, and family friendly river, free of noise and challenges of coping with powered boat use. Depending on water levels in the Lake County portion, however, frequent additional portages may be required.

The Lake County Forest Preserves offers canoe safety instruction and leads guided canoe trips along the Lake County section of the Des Plaines River Greenway.

North Section-From the Wisconsin state line at Russell Road, in Lake County, to the Allison Woods Canoe Launch, in northern Cook County, a number of developed canoe launches and undeveloped access sites form the basis of the trail system.

Middle Section-Through much of the Cook County section of the river, high banks and no official launch sites make the river more difficult to access. However, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County has recently improved the launch at Dam 2 and created a one at Irving Park Road, improving access to this portion of the river. The lack of a safe, designated portage around the Hofmann Dam also creates an obstacle to the continuous public use of the river through this section.

Lower Section-From the Stony Ford Canoe Landing, just downstream from the Hofmann Dam, a number of reasonably spaced access sites once again create an easily navigable trail. Of particular interest in this section is historic Isle a la Cache. Here, on an island near Romeoville, a Will County Forest Preserve District canoe landing and museum make an interesting stop or destination for a trip on the lower section. Safety considerations around the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District controlling works at Lockport, industrial barge traffic downstream of the confluence with the Sanitary and Ship Canal of the Illinois Waterway, and the Brandon Locks in Joliet make this last section of the river more difficult to develop for general public recreational use.

Maps and additional information can be found here
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 08:28:53 AM by MikeC »
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MikeC

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Re: Des Plaines River
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 11:25:28 AM »

Current Water Conditions:

Near Gurnee - Gage Height - Discharge
At Lincolnshire - Gage Height - Discharge
Near Des Plaines - Gage Height - Discharge
At Riverside - Gage Height - Discharge
At Lyons - Gage Height - Discharge

Des Plaines River put-ins
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