Paddle a Canoe to Immerse Yourself in the River’s Beauty

Community paddle on the Little Calumet River at Kickapoo Woods in 2022.

Paddling a canoe on the Chicago-Calumet River system is one of the best and most immersive ways to experience the beauty of the river and to learn about its abundant plants and wildlife. Join Friends at our numerous paddles planned in September and October. No paddling experience necessary. Friends’ trusty canoe guides will help everyone safely load in and out of the canoes, answer questions about the river along the way, and serve as safety monitors on the water.

See Events Page for Details

  • Canoe and Clean – Saturday, September 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. From your canoe, remove litter directly from the North Shore Channel and its banks. Departs from the Dammrich Rowing Center in Skokie.
  • Moonlight Paddle – Saturday, September 30, from 6 to 10 p.m. This is an exclusive after-hours sunset and moonlit excursion through the Skokie Lagoons. The Forest Preserves does not typically permit night paddling, so this is a special opportunity to experience the lagoons at night.
  • World Migratory Bird Day Paddles – at two locations: Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the North Branch of the Chicago River and on the Little Calumet River. Seek out migrant warblers, waterfowl, swallows, and much more on World Migratory Bird Day as Friends of the Chicago River and Audubon Great Lakes team up for birding by boats.
  • Halloween Paddle – Saturday, October 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. Join our final canoe event of the year. This fun and spooky river paddle launches from River Park in Chicago at 6 p.m. and travels north along the North Shore Channel. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.