Where to Kayak, Paddleboat, and Canoe (Including Rentals)

You don’t need to own a kayak or paddleboard to get your family in on the waterfront fun! These rental options will have you on the lake in no time. Whether you want to practice your tandem kayaking skills or get in on the stand-up paddleboarding craze, bring the family together for a day on the water with these rentals.

We have had a wonderful time with our family enjoying nature and look forward to doing it again! This article is sponsored by the featured listings.

Kayak, Paddleboard, and Canoe Rentals in Chicago’s South and West Suburbs

It’s always a good bet to call ahead about rental availability, especially if the weather looks iffy. Most locations stop renting out equipment about an hour before closing. Additionally, prices are always subject to change at any time.

Paddleboat Quarry (Naperville) Paddleboat, Kayak, and Paddleboard Rentals

Take an exhilarating ride around the Quarry in one of the Naperville Park District’s paddleboats! Kayaks and Paddleboards also are available for rent at the Paddleboat Quarry. Located on the Naperville Riverwalk near the corner of Jackson Avenue and Eagle Street, the Quarry is open on non-school days from mid-May-September. Fees apply for paddleboat, kayak and paddleboard rentals. For more info, visit: www.napervilleparks.org/facilities/paddleboatsandkayaking.

  • Open weekends only from the second week in May until Memorial Day
  • Open daily from Memorial Day until the third week in August
  • Open weekends only from the fourth week of August through the end of September
  • Hours: 10:00 am until dusk
  • Rent at the Paddleboat Quarry along the Riverwalk (southwest of the Jackson Avenue and Eagle Street intersection)
  • Paddleboat rentals start at $12, kayak rentals start at $10 for a one-person kayak and $20 for a two-person kayak, and paddleboard rentals start at $12

Whalon Lake (Naperville) Kayak Rentals

  • Open Thursdays through Sundays from Memorial Day until the third week in August
  • Open weekends only from the fourth week of August through the end of September
  • Hours: 10:00 am until dusk
  • Rentals near the boat launch at Whalon Lake
  • Kayak rentals start at $10 for a one-person kayak and $20 for a two-person kayak
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Lake Park Marina (Des Plaines) Paddle Boat and Kayak Rentals

  • April 1 – October 31, dependent on weather; call the Clubhouse at (847) 391-5730 to confirm
  • Fleet of 11 paddle boats includes one that is ADA-compliant
  • Paddle boat rentals are $10/30 minutes and $18/hour for residents and $12/30 minutes and $20/hour for non-residents
  • Single kayak rentals are $8/30 minutes and $14/hour for residents and $10/30 minutes and $16/hour for non-residents
  • Tandem kayaks rentals are $12/30 minutes and $18/hour for residents and $14/30 minutes or $20/hour for non-residents

Busse Lake (Elk Grove Village) Canoe, Rowboat, Paddleboat, and Kayak Rentals

  • Run by the Cook County Forest Preserve
  • Open early April through late October
  • Hours: 6:00 am to 7:30 pm
  • Kayak, canoe, rowboat, and paddleboat rentals start at $20 for one hour and $60 for the day

Lake Ellyn during Boating in the Park (Glen Ellyn)

  • Boating in the Park usually occurs twice per month in June, July, and August. Click here for available days.
  • Hours: 12:00 – 4:00 pm on Sundays during Boating on the Park
  • Kayaks, canoes, and pedal boat rentals for $5 per boat for 20 minutes. 

Monee Reservoir (Monee) Canoe and Kayak Rentals

  • May 1 – September 30
  • Rent a one-person kayak, a two-person tandem kayak, or a canoe with a maximum capacity of three people
  • $20 cash deposit required; bring a valid driver’s license or state ID
  • Rent at the Visitor’s Center, which is open Tuesday–Sunday from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm (or 5:00 pm from September 15–30)
  • $10/hour or $30/half-day activity fee
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Tampier Lake (Orland Park) Canoe, Kayak, and Rowboat Rentals

  • Season usually runs early April through late October
  • Hours: 6:00 am until 7:30 pm (varies with weather)
  • Call ahead to ensure rentals are open: (708) 361-0460
  • $20/hour row boat, single kayak, and tandem kayak rentals, $25/hour tandem kayak rentals, and $25/hour (two-hour minimum) boat with electric motor rentals

Lake Katherine (Palos Heights) Canoe and Kayak Rentals

  • May 29 until October (dependent on weather)
  • Mondays–Saturdays, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Canoes and kayaks are $8/hour per person
  • Must be six years or older to participate; children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
My view from our tandem kayak with my daughter.

Blackwell (Warrenville) Canoe, Kayak, and Rowboat Rentals

  • Open April – May weekends only from 8:00 am – 6:30 pm
  • Open Memorial Day – Labor Day weekends from 8:00 am – 6:30 pm and weekdays from 11:00 am – 6:30 pm (opens at 8:00 am on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day)
  • Open Labor Day through the end of September, weekends only from 8:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Valid driver’s license required
  • $12/hour for a rowboat or single kayak, $15/hour for a canoe or tandem kayak, and $20/hour for a rowboat with trolling motor

Herrick Lake (Wheaton) Canoe, Kayak, and Rowboat Rentals

  • Open Memorial Day – Labor Day, weekends only, from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Valid driver’s license required
  • $12/hour for a rowboat or single kayak; $15/hour for a canoe or tandem kayak

Maple Lake (Willow Springs) Canoe, Kayak, and Rowboat Rentals

  • Season usually runs early April through late October; closed Tuesdays
  • Hours: 7:00 am until sunset (varies with weather)
  • Call ahead to ensure rentals are open: (708) 506-0227
  • $20/hour row boat, single kayak, and tandem kayak rentals; $25/hour tandem kayak rentals
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REI Boathouse at Saganashkee Slough (Willow Springs)

  • Open May 11 – May 31, 2019, weekends only, from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Open June 1 – September 1, 2019, Wednesday–Friday from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm and weekends from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Open September 2 – September 29, 2019, weekends only, from 10:00 am – 6:00 am
  • Holiday hours of 10:00 am – 6:00 pm on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day
  • $15/hour or $45/full day single kayak rentals; $20/hour or $60/full day tandem kayak rentals (member discounts available

Oak Brook Park District Canoe/Kayak Launch: Salt Creek River Trail

If you own a kayak or canoe or want to rent some from a local rental company for the day, the Dean Nature Sanctuary to Plank Road Meadow Salt Creek is a great option and close to home.

Dean Nature Sanctuary to Plank Road Meadow Salt Creek consists of four sections, each offering a distinct paddling experience. The official lower section of the Salt Creek water trail begins with an access site at Oak Brook Park District’s Dorothy and Sam Dean Nature Sanctuary, 115 Canterberry Lane. Although shallow in spots, the river winds through Cook County Forest Preserve District woods and land owned by the Brookfield Zoo before its confluence with the Des Plaines River at Plank Road Meadow. This stretch has low banks and several access points in forest preserves.  Paddlers are advised to take out at the Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Plank Road Meadow or before. For tips, river trail information, and more, visit https://www.obparks.org/salt-creek-river-trail

Be sure to share your boating adventures with us on Instagram (#mykidlist)! Plus, we’ve got plenty more outdoor activities to keep the fun going all summer long.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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