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Nippersink River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: August 30, 2010
Nearest City: Fox Lake, IL
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Submitted by: jerrymeadlucero

Description:

Canoed the Nippersink on Aug. 30th, 2010. The Nippersink is one of my favorite streams to canoe in Illinois, in regards to scenery. It is a beautiful prairie stream with a nice mix of open views of the prairie and wooded sections. The water quality appears to be some of the best you can find within a few hours of Chicago. But water levels are a real problem. I would recommend checking the water levels very carefully before venturing out on the Nippersink.

Water levels can be checked here...
waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/uv/?site_no=05548280&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060

The day we canoed the river water levels were supposedly roughly 3.6 feet. But we spent roughly a quarter of the trip dragging the canoe over shallow sections. The bottom is often rocky and can severely scar the bottom of your canoe. They are about a half dozen small rapids or rifles that have substantial rocks and could seriously damage your canoe if not careful. We got a lot of deep scrapes on the bottom of my practically new Old Town Guide 147. When trying to pull the canoe over a few of these rocky rapids we quickly found ourselves moving from water that was less than 6 inches high to water that was up to my waist in a very short distance.

Unfortunately the numerous obstructions, strainers, rocks and shallow sections ruined what would have otherwise been a beautiful trip.

Accommodations:

There are excellent launch sites and numerous places along the Nippersink. See the following link for details:
www.trailville.com/wiki/IL_Nippersink_Creek

Fees:

None

Resources:

Paddling Illinois - Revised (Fourth Edition) by Mike Svob is an excellent guide to all of Illinois rivers and provides excellent maps of the Nippersink.


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