About Us


Reed's Canoe Trips are an ideal recreational activity for groups of any size, from a family adventure to large church, school, or park district outings. We provide a complete equipment and transportation package, supplying your group with the necessary number of 17-foot canoes with paddles, lifejackets for each person, and transportation to and from the river.
All trips begin at our easily accessible headquarters at 907 N. Indiana Avenue (Illinois Route 50) in Kankakee, which has plenty of free parking available. Depending upon the size of your group, we will provide either van or bus transportation to your “put-in” point on the river. At the end of your trip, our driver will be waiting to pick up your party for the return to our headquarters.
 
 

The Beautiful Kankakee

The Kankakee River is one of the few natural and unspoiled canoeing streams in the northern half of Illinois, providing excellent fishing and an outstanding opportunity for observing many types of birds and other wildlife. Dotted with islands and frequently branching into quiet backwaters and inlets, the river is classified as a Class I stream suitable for families and beginning canoeists (minimum age 3 and minimum weight 35 pounds).
 
Kankakee — Orange Canoe on Kankakee River in Kankakee, IL
 
Even though civilization is seldom more than a hundred yards away, many stretches of the Kankakee appear almost unchanged from the river that was seen by the great French explorer LaSalle more than 300 years ago. One of the most scenic areas of the river is the vicinity of the Kankakee River State Park, where waterworn outcrops of limestone line the banks. Several small canyons have been carved through the limestone by creeks making their way to the river.
As you paddle down the Kankakee, you may see deer, raccoons, beavers, and many smaller species of wildlife along the banks. In the trees and shrubs, you'll hear and see a wide variety of songbirds; waterfowl are common on the river, and many parties are rewarded by the sight of an eagle soaring majestically overhead. Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to test the waters that have provided many state-record catches through the years. Species ranging from crappies to catfish, bass, and pike are abundant in the clear, clean waters of the Kankakee.
 

Tips

Proper preparation is an important part of having a safe and enjoyable canoe trip. Follow these suggestions:
 
  • Wear loose, light, comfortable clothing (if you sunburn easily, wearing a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and trousers is recommended).
  • Use a waterproof bag (large food storage bags with zip-type seals work well) to prevent extra clothing, food, and important items such as a wallet from getting wet. Tie or strap the bag to the canoe so it won't be lost in case of a spill.
 
  • For better footing on slippery surfaces, and to protect against injury from sharp rocks or debris, wear rubber-soled canvas shoes.
  • Paddling can make you work up a powerful thirst. Carry a container of water or other liquid for drinking. Never use glass containers. They are illegal on the Kankakee River since they can break and endanger you and others.
 
Note: Alcoholic beverages are banned within the Kankakee River State Park.
 
  • A canoe trip should be a relaxing and leisurely event–allow plenty of time to swim, fish, picnic, or go exploring (don't trespass on private property). You should allow one hour of paddling time for every 2.5 miles of river distance.
 
  • Leave the river as beautiful as you found it, or even more beautiful! Don't leave litter behind; take out everything you brought in. Even better, pick up some of the trash left by people who weren't as thoughtful as the members of your party.