Click to view this email in a browser

TIP logo 2
March 2018

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: 

Dont See Your Article Here?

Please submitt articles for the IPC newsletter to

Ralph Frese Memorial Padddle

IPC Sticker 2017.1y (3).jpg

The Forest Preserves of Cook County is again sponsoring the Ralph Frese Memorial Paddle

Plan to join us
Willow Road Dam, Winnetka (Skokie Lagoons)
Advanced Beginner – be prepared for cold weather and cold water

Be sure to bring a dry bag for a change of clothing if needed

Bring your canoe or kayak and celebrate the legacy of canoe legend Ralph 
Frese by paddling the Chicago River from Willow Road Dam to Linne Woods in Morton Grove. A free shuttle bus will be provided and will run from 8 am – 2 pm from Linne Woods to Willow Road Dam. Official launch at 9 am.  The event is free and concludes with a celebration at Linne Woods where refreshments will be served

More details:

To register (free) with the Forest Preserve go to



BY Don Mueggenborg and Sigrid Pilgrim

March 31: 

RALPH FRESE MEMORIAL PADDLE (formerly the site of the New Years Day paddle) 

May 6:


May 12:

26th Chicago River Day! This beloved annual volunteer day has an immediate impact and collectively brings about long-term improvements in the health of the Chicago River. Spanning the river’s 156-mile system with over 60 locations to choose from, there are many ways for people of all ages to get involved.

May 20:



Illinois Water Trail Congress

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, 25055 S Walnut Lane, Channahon, IL 60410


Annual Awards Dinner and  Election of Officers, Program, at the Historic Warrenville Tavern.  Details to come.

Check out events on the IPC Web Page and add a few of your own!


By Don Mueggenborg

61st Annual – That is a long time to hold an event – it must be a pretty good thing, a lot of fun – to have lasted that long.  And it is a lot of fun

For much of the course the river winds through forest preserve land (Lake and Cook County Forest Preserves) providing pleasant scenery if you are not going too fast to see it.

Most of the ”racers”  are in it for the fun of paddling with 800 other people (well you wont actually be paddling with all 800, but you might see all 800 at the start, finish area or on the river).   Or they want to see how well they can do – or beat their brother-in-law or neighbor.   Of course there are those who’s main goal is to go as fast as possible and perhaps with the ultimate trophy of the “Little Man” or Ralph as we call him.

The you get to relax at the finish line, have a lunch, pick up your t-shirt (another great design and you wont be able to miss them this year) and earn a patch by finishing.  Talk paddling and tell “war stories”  (Want to hear about my first race back in ’69?  robably not again, and again)

 NEW THIS YEAR – electronic chip timing

Long race about 19 miles (Oak Spring Rd, Libertyville to Dam # 2), or  short race about 5 miles    NO PORTAGES  (the entire length of the DesPlaines is dam free, I believe –)

Check out the web site for more information or just to see what the marathon is all about, maybe you will find your picture if you have raced before.  See you May 20 – look me up and say “hi”

Type Title Here

The Chicago Maritime Museum  

By: Greg Taylor

A new museum recently opened in Chicago that’s worth checking out by the name of Chicago Maritime Museum. This is Chicago’s latest addition to the cultural heritage of the Midwest’s rich value to this nation. The museum is a natural outgrowth of the Chicago Maritime Society that has existed since 1982. The goal of the Society has always been to bring to light the knowledge of Chicago’s rich maritime historical value to the public. The current museum is the product of the many years of work by the dedicated volunteers from that Society that have stood by this concept.

Chicago’s importance to this Nation is well documented in the history books of this land, but there is a greater story that is not known by many in and out side of Chicago. First by visiting the Museum you will learn a good deal that you might have known bits about, or learn a good deal about what you might have known nothing about. Either way I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. One of the features that stands out well is on the third Friday of each month the Museum puts on an open house where they have a guest speaker come in and talk about their field of expertise of knowledge on some facet of Chicago’s history, usually maritime related of course, as a program to the public. The speakers to date have covered topics from a 350-million-year-old reef (yes, in coral, tropical reef in Chicagoland?) that’s just off shore on the south lake shore to the ending of corruption of the Chicago Park District director of harbors and marine services that had seen the previous 4 directors ending up in federal prison. That Friday evening was a real eye opener. If you Google the museum web site they give a good write up of their upcoming presentations.  The seating area is good for about a hundred people so no need to make reservations or worry about standing. The programs generally last between a half hour to forty-five minutes and they serve a light hors d’oeuvre and drinks during the presentation. It can make a nice start or finish to an evening on a Friday.

Consider the museum as a valuable entertainment venue. So, come on down and check out the Museum. It’s not hard to get to off the Eisenhower expressway (290). Get off at Ashland going south to 35th street and go east about three blocks, just over Bubbly Creek and turn north onto Racine Ave. The address is 1200 W 35th St. Chicago, Illinois 60609.  It’s in the old Spiegel warehouse turned artists loft gallery that goes by the name of Bridgeport Art Center on the lower level so you can enjoy watching Bubbly Creek flowing by. I’m told but have not yet experienced it but rowing clubs use the waterway for practice in the summer because there isn’t any motor boat traffic on it because of its dead-end nature as an off-chute of the south branch of the Chicago River



Can you picture Abe Lincoln racing an 18 ½ foot Carbon fiber canoe? His black beard would be flowing in the wind as he rounds a bend and runs a rapid.  His long legs bent up to his chin as he dips his paddle at 60 strokes a minute pulling the canoe forward from the bow.  “Four score and twenty huts ago”, he would call out.


Well, I can’t either but I can picture him poling a long boat up the river – before he had a beard.  The river would be the Sangamon, of course.


The Sangamon winds its way from Decatur through Springfield to the Illinois – about 250 miles.  Tree lined banks, few towns – not a river for water skiers and jet skis.  A gem of central Illinois.  A good river to paddle.


Abe’s Race honors our past president as it presents something for every type of paddler.  Classes for recreational paddlers as well as racers.  For kayaks as well as for canoes.  There is a class for wooden canoes.  (maybe my restored 1920 Old Town will find its way to Petersburg.)  


Petersburg, Illinois  July 14.  Look up Abes Race on the internet for more information.





Do you remember  (us old folks can tell our tall tales, the other old folks might remember – but differently – they won, not me or something else- the young folks just shake their heads)?


THE SANGAMON RIVER ALL CRAFT RACE – Notice this was an all craft race.  It ran about 30 miles from Springfield to New Salem, if I recall correctly.  There were canoes and john boats (I don’t recall kayks).   An award for the best time on the river – with a catch.  They subtracted 1 hour from the john boat’s time and added 45 minutes to the racing boats.  Regular canoes were timed in real time.


The year was 1982.  “Peanut Butter” and I had our fancy racing canoe – the water was high.  The race officials said we could take the “short cut” if we wanted. 


The racers started together, after most of the other boats.  Only about half dozen in our class, we found ourselves out front after 15 minutes.  We felt good – past the dam spillway, still in front.  Under the RR bridge, still in front.  Then “shortcut” went off to the left but when we noticed it we were on the right bank.  Should we cross over – NO – we were in first.  MISTAKE! 


By the time the rivers joined, you could not even see our competition.  Finally PB said “I think I see their paddles.”  We pushed hard.  Maybe I could make out the paddles now but they were a long way ahead.  Finally caught up to them.  “Don’t look back, we are right here.” PB called.  They paddled harder.  “Don’t say anything else, I thought to myself.  I don’t know how much more I have left.”  Finally we got past.


Finish line in sight.  I reached for my water hose and heard – “Don’t look back, we are right here.”  30 miles, 3 hours – I was dead and they were right there.  We hit the right channel and edged them out.  Skeet Waller and his son-in-law Doug gave us all we could handle.  We would race them again and sometimes we were the ones behind.


The final results – we had the adjusted best time.


A good day on a good river and we meant some good people.  (and that’s what paddling  is all about, isn’t it)


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!

Web Master

Water Trail Congress

An Opportunity to Network with others working on Water Trail Issues

Oct 15th, 2018

Click Here for More Information

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!