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.