14 Scenic Spots with Canoe, Paddleboard, and Kayak Rentals

SummerOutdoor Places to Go

Get your family in on some waterfront fun and rent a kayak, paddleboat, or canoe this summer! These local spots are great for spending the day outside and on the water. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddle-boating are memorable ways to explore nature with the kids and get a little exercise, too.

For rentals, be sure to call ahead to confirm exact hours and pricing, especially on days where the weather is on the unpredictable side. Don’t forget plenty of water and sunscreen!

Paddleboat Quarry in Naperville: Paddleboat Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals

  • Weekends only through May 29 (Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Open daily from May 30 to mid-August (10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
  • Weekends only again in the fall (Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. until dusk)
  • Located along the Naperville Riverwalk near Rotary Hill and the Riverwalk Café.

Whalon Lake Kayak Rentals by the Forge

Lake Park Marina in Des Plaines: Paddleboat and Kayak Rentals

  • See website for 2023 hours and pricing.
  • Call (847) 391-5730 to confirm
  • Fleet of 11 paddle boats including one that is ADA-compliant.

Busse Lake in Elk Grove Village: Canoe, Rowboat, Paddleboat and Kayak Rentals

  • Run by the Cook County Forest Preserve
  • Open early April – late October, 2023
  • Rentals are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • The preserve asks that you please call (224) 415-6554 before you go to confirm rentals are available.

Boating in the Park in Glen Ellyn: Kayak, Canoe and Pedal boat Rentals

  • Glen Ellyn Park District offers canoes, kayaks, and a pedal boat for rent during the Boating in the Park event series.
  • 20-minute rental for $10.

Monee Reservoir in Monee: Canoe and Kayak Rentals

  • Rentals are first-come, first-serve May 1 – September 30, 2023.
  • 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 in May-August from 6:00 am – 7:00pm and in September from 7:00am – 6:00pm.
  • $15/hour or $30/half-day activity fee.
  • Children under the age of 13 must wear PFDs in all instances when on water.

Tampier Lake in Orland Park: Canoe, Kayak, and Rowboat Rentals

  • Season runs early April through late October, depending on weather
  • Rentals available 9:00am – 5:00pm on a first-come, first-served basis
  • They ask that you please call ahead to ensure rentals are open: (708) 830-5194.
  • Rentals are $20/hour for a single kayak; $25/hour for a fishing boat with motor (2-hour minimum), a row boat, or a canoe; and $30/hour for a tandem kayak. See website for discounts.

Lake Katherine in Palos Heights: Canoe and Kayak Rentals

  • Rentals May 22 through October 9, 2023 (as weather allows).
  • Boats available Monday-Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm with the exception of Tuesday and Thursday which is from 10:00am – 7:00pm.
  • Canoes and kayaks are $10/hour per person.
  • Must be six years or older to participate.
  • Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Advance reservations required; call ahead or register online.

River View in St. Charles: Kayak and Pedal Boat Rentals

  • Open May 6, 2023; no rentals on July 4 or August 5
  • Open daily 11:00 am – 6:00 pm (weather permitting).
  • $19/hour for pedal boats and $15/hour for kayaks on a first-come, first-served basis
  • A valid driver’s license/state ID required as a deposit.
  • Ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Launch from the dock behind mini golf in Pottawatomie Park.

Twin Lakes in Palatine: Paddle Boating, Kayaking, and Lessons

  • Paddle boat and kayak rentals are available for rental daily from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • See website for rental fees by the hour or half-hour
  • You may not use your own boats or motorized boats in Twin Lakes.
  • Beginner kayak lessons are available on select days.

Three Oaks Recreation in Crystal Lake: Kayak, Canoe, Paddle Boat, Stand-up Paddleboarding Rentals

  • Hours vary frequently; see website for details
  • Parking is $5 for non-residents.
  • Kayak, canoe, and paddle boat rentals are $14/hour and pontoons are $40/hour for non-residents. Row boats start at $28 for 2 hours.

Lake Arlington in Arlington Heights: Paddle Boats, Kayaks, Sailboats, Paddle Board, and Pontoon Peddle Boat Rentals

  • Boat rentals are available daily from 10:00am – 5:30pm, with the except of late openings on July 17-21 and July 24-28, 2023.
  • Cost of boat rentals vary by age of passengers and type of boat. Visitors can also purchase a punch card for five 1-hour visits, costing $120.
  • Have your own boat? Launch it for a daily fee of $10. Guests can also purchase a season pass, which will cost residents $60 and non-residents $80.

Salt Creek River Trail in Oak Brook: Kayak/Canoe Launch

  • Own a kayak or canoe? The Dean Nature Sanctuary to Plank Road Meadow Salt Creek is a great option and close to home.
  • Consists of four unique sections, each offering a distinct paddling experience.
  • Boaters 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

New! Kayak, Canoe, and Paddleboard in Lisle Community Park

  • Boat rentals are not available, however you can bring your personal kayak, canoe, or paddle board to their new boat launch. It’s intended for use of personal non-motorized boats or floating vessels.

We’d love to see your family’s boating adventures – please share with us on Instagram (#mykidlist)! And, check out our outdoor activities ideas to keep the fun going throughout the summer months!

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