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  1. #1
    PWCToday Newbie
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    Aug 2016
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    Chicago suburb
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    Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    I live in the west suburbs of Chicago in Oak Brook, IL. Bored with Fox River, only like 4 miles to do and done it many times now. Exploring the Illinois river, but mixed experience.

    Seneca boat launch: Nice launch, 1 hour drive, got a stick in impellar after about 5 hours jetskiing. Towed back to marina. Had fun at Boondocks for lunch. Tons of floating debris, wouldnt tube or waterski or anything.

    Morris boat launch: Looks like might be nice, but was twice closed due to flooding. This a chronic thing?

    Starved Rock Marina boat launch: Thought I would like the wide river area near Starved Rock state park but frankly had more debris here than any other section of river so far. If you go upstream to where the river narrows again half as much debris. $20 to launch at Starved Rock Marina, dont drive past the 2 launches inside the marina because hard to turn around with trailer and nothing there anyway except houseboats. I got a stick in the impellar before even got out of the marina, didnt have a 14mm socket for that ski to remove impellar grate, but marina loaned it to me (nice guy), back in the water with no problems all day after that. Kind of crappy marina, decent food in restaraunt/pub (which is on second story of waterfront building and not obvious). Recommend against this marina and instead going to try the Heritage Harbor Marina next and save 15 min driving.

  2. #2
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home wielgot's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    Im located in Elmhurst IL and we usually ride the Des Plaines wildlife conservation area. Lots of boats and house boats. A few islands to chill on and have a few.

    24621 N. River Rd.
    Wilmington IL 60481
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    Paypal= jwielgot@gmail.com

  3. #3
    Resident Guru soxfan1129's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
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    Re: Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    Jesse, let me know next time you guys go, I work about 30mins from there, always down for an after work ride when everything is running lol

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

    Send it!
    IL Jet Riders

  4. #4
    PWCToday Newbie
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    Aug 2016
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    Chicago suburb
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    Re: Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    Just looking at Google Maps, and looks like I take I-55 south to Rive Road, go west one mile on River Road, enter the Des Plaines Conservation Area, and then to large parking lot / boat ramp that dumps into the Kankakee above Dresden dam? Then do people spend most time on Kankakee or Des Plaines river?

  5. #5
    PWCToday Regular 97XPMan's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Oswego, Il
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    32
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    99

    Re: Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    I've been going to the Morris launch a lot lately, but for the past 5 days or so it's been horrible with debris due to the hard rain we had a while ago. Hopefully it will be cleared by the weekend so I can take the ski out.

    My neighbor was a co-owner of Starved Rock Marina, I used to go there a lot as a kid waverunning. Decent place, but yes, it's pretty dirty and the debris is all over the place.
    Last edited by 97XPMan; 08-17-2016 at 12:06 AM.

  6. #6
    PWCToday Regular billglass's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    illinois
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    Re: Favorite spots to launch on the Illinois river?

    Ride the Illinois river all the time.. Conditions depend on river height and rain.. The higher the river, the more debris.. launch in Morris is closed when reading over 9.6. Seneca is open at that point still, but you are still dealing with a river that is full of debris.. If you go in by starved rock, watch out for the Asian carp. We ran into them on our first launch in that area when we dropped in Ottawa. Luckily they only jumped out of the water behind us. except for one little guy.. LOL. I rode desplaines conservation area a handful of times. Nice stretch but launch is kinda small and both boat and skis use the same two launches. At morris, jetskis have their own launch but can still get crowded on a nice weekend. All that said, I ride Morris the most, good mix between, good launch, close distance, and good water depending on rain.. Here's a website I go to before I go out to check water levels. Acouple summers ago, the illinois river was flooded till the middle of the summer.. If you go to Morris, I'll see you out there.

    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydro...lot&gage=MORI2
    Last edited by billglass; 02-07-2017 at 03:27 PM.

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