Click to view this email in a browser

TIP logo 2
December 2017

Sarah Hartman was a dedicated paddler, instructor and lover of all outdoors. Thanks to the generous donations by Sarah’s mother, Dave Hillman and others, IPC is in a good position to support paddlesport education by helping defray a portion of the costs incurred to become a certified paddling instructor.

Paddlers residing in the Heartland states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are eligible to apply upon successful completion of necessary training and presentation of evidence of certification as required by the program

See full details about the program here.

Find ACA Instruction courses: 

Paddlesports North American Coaches: 

2017 IPC Competition Results

IPC’s Competition Committee every year sponsors several races.  Points are given for each race a paddler enters. To qualify for a trophy, a paddler be an IPC member and enter half of the races in the particular class s/he enters. Points from the best half of the races, plus one, will be used to determine the class champion. First place is awarded 10 points, 2nd = 9, 3rd = 8, ect. down to 5th = 6 pts. Winners are announced at the annual Awards Dinner with the first place winner able to enjoy the travelling trophy for a year. Sixtytwo paddlers participated in the events below in 2017 – let’s try to double that number in 2018!

And the Winners are:

Adult/Youth - Ray & Dylan Grzenia, 2nd Ben & Luke Josefik

C2 - Standard Pat Faul/ Steve Conlon

C2 Men - Dave Buckley

C2 Master- Kevin Bradley/Don Mueggenborg, 2nd Ed Hahn

C-1 - Jody Runyon, 2nd Dave Kies

Sea kayak - Jim Pechous


Jim Pechous is PADDLER OF THE YEAR – having committed to and actually paddled 1200 miles this year.

He is shown with the travelling kayak trophy – it can be yours to enjoy for a year if you win enough K1 races in 2018. 


Image result for map of illinois rivers and lakes

Illinois – according to Wikipedia has 98 rivers. Our state is bordered by 880 miles of rivers and contains a total of 87,110 miles of rivers and streams. IDNR’s list of Public Waters names 48 rivers and lakes, several multiple times. Eliminating the multiple listings for different navigable sections of the same rivers and lakes, there are only 34 rivers officially navigable, which of course, includes such rivers as the Mississippi, Ohio, and Illinois, not always on our most favorite list of rivers to paddle, with, of course, some exceptions.

This special issue of the ILLINOIS PADDLER is dedicated to the group of paddlers, private and public entities, that are working together to establish water trails and paddling access


The Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Trails Plan was originally conceived by Gary Mechanic as national efforts to establish water trails and their benefits to local communities became better  known. This plan established a vision for providing water trails for non-motorized boating on ten of the Chicago area’s waterways. Designed by representatives from local governments, tourism advocates, conservationists and paddlers, the plan designated nearly 500 miles of waterways as recreational water trails. 

These water trails include the Calumet Area, Chicago River, Des Plaines, DuPage, Fox, Kankakee, Kishwaukee, Nippersink, Salt Creek and Lake Michigan. Details can be found on the OpenLands Website:





Established in 2006 by an intrepid group of paddlers who cleared tons of debris from the river, raised funds to establish ADA accessible boat launches, put in place concrete picnic tables that wouldn’t wash away in a flood, Paddle The Pec is described as Illinois’ Most Friendly Paddle. There are eight sections described on the website.

The river’s best friend is the Friends of the Pecatonica Foundation. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and foster the vitality of the Pecatonica River for the plant, animal and human communities within the Stephenson County, Illinois watershed.

The Pecatonica River enters Illinois at Stephenson County north of Winslow. The name is believed to be Native American for crooked stream. The Pecatonica River is 58 miles long in Stephenson County and 94 miles in Illinois. The river joins the Rock River at Macktown, near Rockton. The early years saw roads develop all over the county. Many of the roads connected the mills that were in use in the county. Crossing the Pecatonica resulted in several ferries operating in the county. Toll bridges replaced the ferries and would be replaced with public owned bridges. The railroad was a significant influence for the area.

The organization has two very interesting postcard books of historic river scene photos going back to the turn of the century which they use as a fund raiser. For more details – contact, or Joe Ginger


Claimed to be one of the cleanest rivers in the Midwest, the Kankakee has ancient wetlands, cliffs and canyons, wooded islands and the gentle farmlands of northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois along the 133-mile stretch. There are four distinct trips – check the website and trip map for details:


  1. Upper River - Kankakee Headwaters to the Yellow River: This entirely channelized section runs through farmland, with very little tree cover in many areas.


  1. Wooded Channel - Yellow River to the State Line: This mostly channelized section has more tree cover and runs through several state parks and conservation areas.


  1. Ancient Wetland - State Line to Momence: At the Illinois state line, the river reverts to a natural meandering course through some of the best wetland habitat in the Prairie State.


  1. Grand Waterway - Momence to the Illinois River: A boater's and paddler's playground through urban and suburban areas, with a long run through Kankakee State Park before meeting the Illinois River.


Recognizing the cultural, environmental, recreational and economic significance of the Kankakee River, its 2016 designation as a National Water Trail, and its related watershed, various individuals came together in 2017 to create the Potawatomi Paddlers Association (PPA). This organization was formed to encourage and enable safe and environmentally-sensitive recreational use of the Illinois portion of Kankakee River National Water Trail for paddle sports, leave-no-trace camping and other non-motorized activities by all people attracted to the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of river recreation. This mission will be accomplished through the planning and implementation of public information and education campaigns, and through activities that build and sustain a positive recreational environment.


The focus of the PPA is to carry out a myriad of planning initiatives and play a key role in changing how municipalities within the Kankakee River watershed treat the River in development ordinances and plans. This includes but is not limited to river edge improvements to include boat landings, water side parks and other enhancements; policy initiatives aimed at improving the quality of the river so that it can support native plants, fish and other wildlife and a variety of recreational uses; on-the-ground projects that result in physical improvements and preservation of quality habitat; and education and outreach programs that inform and inspire people to help revitalize the Kankakee River.


The PPA meets on the second Thursday of each month. As we try to reach out to all areas along the Kankakee River between Momence and Wilmington, the location of our monthly meeting changes each month. Times and locations of our meetings are posted on our Facebook page.


For more information, please contact the Potawatomi Paddlers Association at P. O. Box 503, Kankakee, IL 60901, or contact PPA President Frank Koehler at



FOX 1The Fox River of Illinois—not to be confused with the Fox River of central Wisconsin—arises in southern Wisconsin in a lake basin about 15 miles northwest of Milwaukee. From this point, the Fox flows southward for over 200 miles 

(114 miles in Illinois) and drops 470 vertical feet to reach its confluence with the Illinois River. As the Fox enters Illinois, it passes through Illinois' Chain o’ Lakes and then meanders southward through Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall and LaSalle Counties.

The Fox River is a major waterway with many small islands. Its steep valley has an average gradient of 3.6 feet per mile, and its strong flow made the stream a good source for industrial waterpower. This led to early industrial development with many dams and mills built on the stream. Now most of the old mill dams are gone, but they have been replaced by hydroelectric, flood control, and navigation dams.

The Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP) was formed in 1996 after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) designated a core of high-quality ecological resources in the northern-most watershed as a "Resource Rich Area".  Portions of eleven counties, including Lake, McHenry, Kane, Kendall and LaSalle, form the Fox River watershed, which is home to 11% of the state's population. 

FREP has joined with the Southeast Wisconsin Fox River Partnership and the Village of Waterford, Wisconsin, to pursue the designation of all or portions of the Fox River in Wisconsin and Illinois as a National Water Trail through the National Park Services' National Water Trail System. Technical assistance from the NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program has been awarded and planning is now proceeding.

Volunteers are needed to submit information about paddling the river, historic information, and more. Contact Karen Miller for more details

Lincoln Heritage Water Trail

The Lincoln Heritage Water Trail spans two historic sites – the Lincoln Homestead State Park near Decatur and the New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg. These sites bracket an Abraham Lincoln tale, replete with quick wit and strong will, that began in 1831. It starts with a canoe trip by a 22-year-old Lincoln upon a flooding Sangamon River from his family’s homestead site near Decatur to the Springfield area. At Sangamo Town, seven miles northwest of Springfield, he built an 80-foot flatboat and set off for New Orleans but ran aground at the mill dam below the New Salem bluff. Undaunted, he saved it from sinking (with an auger commandeered from the village cooper shop) before continuing his journey. 

The Lincoln Heritage Water Trail Association works to create a living tribute to the Sangamon River and open it up to exploring the water and landscape, largely unchanged from Lincoln's time.  The Sangamon River offers a rare opportunity to canoe, kayak, fish or just float and take photos of native life on the Illinois prairie and the rolling hills of the river valley.  

The stretch of the Sangamon River from Decatur to Petersburg, has the direct historical connection with the life of Abraham Lincoln and was first formally recognized in 1965 when Illinois Governor Otto Kerner designated it as the Lincoln Heritage Canoe Trail.

 sangamon 2 2

Currently, the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail is being expanded to the river’s upper reaches, thanks to the efforts of the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy (  and the Sangamon River Alliance ( For more information on either of these groups, please contact Scott Hays at

Banner Marsh Water Trail

banner marsh

By Jeff Fitch



The Banner Marsh Canoe Trail was officially established in 2016 and is part of the Banner Marsh State Fish & Wildlife Area and is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Peoria on U.S. Route 24. It is protected from the Illinois River by a major levee. Teeming with fish and wildlife, Banner Marsh provides various outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, boating, dog training, picnicking, wildlife observation and photography. Three public access areas lead into Banner Marsh, all of which have parking lots, boat ramps, restrooms and picnic areas. The only type of camping allowed at Banner Marsh is youth group camping. Nearby Rice Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area has camping facilities available.

Contact Jeff Fitch for more information:

Please renew your membership for 2018 and help IPC make Illinois a more Paddler Friendly State.

         $15 IPC Individual or Family


  $45 IPC and ACA Individual 

(new ACA member only)

 $55 IPC and ACA Family 

(new ACA  member only)

$25 IPC Affiliate Membership 

(Business or Governmental)

$30 + $1 per each club members

(Club Membership--

Paddling Clubs have the option to appoint a representative of their club to the IPC Board)

Renew online at  


Send your check and membership application/renewal to

Illinois Paddling Council, c/o Don Mueggenborg

9 E Peiffer Drive, Lemont, IL 60439

Please Renew Your Membership

Help IPC make Illinois a more Paddler Friendly State.

Send your check and membership application / renewal 


Illinois Paddling Council, 


Don Mueggenborg

9 E Peiffer Drive, Lemont, IL 60439

Help Wanted!

News Letter Editor

Web Master

Water Trail Congress

An Opportunity to Network with others working on Water Trail Issues

To Be Scheduled in 2018

More Info to Follow!

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Click here to forward this email to a friend

The Illinois Paddling Council
609 roselle ct
Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!