The Meramec River
The Meramec River is an incredible opportunity, to enjoy a day on the river. Kayaks, canoes, inner tubes, and even rafts are a great way to navigate the river. We put in at Meramec State Park and floated down stream to Meramec Cavern. We enjoyed our float trip in kayaks, and the trip lasted about 3 hours. Expect a longer trip with a different vessel. Your trip down river, takes you under bridges, and past towering bluffs, you will pass sand bars, a cave, and even a rope swing. This stretch of river is gorgeous, and is a perfect place to enjoy a warm summer day. There are several outfitters in the area, but my personal favorite is Caveman Floating found a Meramec Cavern. For more information, click here.
The Vermillion River
Rafting the Vermilion River is an amazing experience for several reasons. First, It is one of the rare rivers in the US that runs South to North. Second, its total lack of development along its banks. It’s a unique river because during the whole trip the only man made structure you will see is the Lone Star Cement Plant near the end. One of only a few white water rafting experience’s in the Midwest. The Vermilion River pushes a swift 3 MPH pace, during its high season. There are about 14 sets of rapids spread out over 9 1/2 miles. Most are classified 1’s and 2’s, but If the river water is up over 4 foot, you will get some class 3 rapids. Highlights of the float include Wildcat Falls, the Lone Star Dam, and The Narrows. For more information, click here.
Crystal City Underground
Weather your an adventure junkie like me, or its your first time in a kayak, this is one Adventure you won’t want to miss! The 3 hour tour takes you up to 400 feet below ground, as you navigate your kayak through the flooded former sand mine. On your tour you will pass such sights as the “Birth Canal,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Squeeze,” ” The Car Wash” and the “Townsend Center”which is the largest opening in the mine. All tours are run by expert guides of great personality, who do an outstanding job both guiding the tour and providing an interesting/entertaining history of the mine. To reserve your spot call (636) 208-5026 to find out more about this amazing kayak tour click here.
The North Fork White River
Continually replenished by the eighth largest spring system in Missouri, the North Fork River is always ready for your kayak. Nestled among the notable beauty of the southern portion of the Ozarks, paddling along this river exposes you to the beauty of the bluffs and the massive ridges along the shoreline that are followed by peaceful meadows and deep woods, all of which work together to provide a kayaking experience like no other. Additionally, this river is rated as Class I and as Class II, which means you can enjoy smooth waters as well as small rapids, making it a good choice for beginners and younger paddlers. There are several outfitters in the area, our personal favorite is River Of Life Farm. For more information, click here.
The Current River
The current river is one of the most beautiful water trails in the Midwest. With crystal clear water, towering bluffs, and several caves right on the water. The Current River is spring fed and moves through stunning Ozark landscapes, with bluffs ranging in height from 12 feet to 200 feet. The water has a constant year round temperature of 58 degrees. Which makes it one of only a few places, you can kayak in the middle of winter. A float trip on the Current River is an experience you won’t forget. There are several great options to access the river. The most scenic section, stretches from Cedar Grove to Round Springs, about 29 miles. Current River Canoe Rental is our favorite outfitter in the area. For more information, click here.
The Upper Iowa River
Located in northern Iowa just south of the Minnesota border is the Iowa River. This section of river was featured in National Geographic Magazine and listed as one of the top 100 adventures in North America. Much of your float will take place along 200 foot high bluffs, with beautiful old bridges crossing the river above your head. This is a perfect destination if your looking for a little adventure. Canoeing the Upper Iowa River is truly a one of a kind experience. Randy’s Bluffton Store provides kayak rentals and shuttle service. For more information, click here.
The Illinois River
At Starved Rock State Park visitors can take an incredible kayak tour through the canyons and past the tall sandstone bluffs that this park is known for. It’s an unforgettable adventure at one of the best state parks in Illinois. Along the shoreline of the Illinois River lie the towering St. Peter sandstone bluffs and deep water canyons that are best seen from the water. This trip will lead you to some of the best spots along the water in one of the most memorable experiences you can have in Illinois. For more information, click here.
The Maquoketa River
A trip down the Maquoketa River will take you past Pictured Rocks Park, and several other scenic locations. This is a more relaxing, day in the sun type of float. The landscape along the Maquoketa River is beautiful Iowa forest, and towering rock bluffs. There are several sand bars along the river which are perfect for stopping for picnics or taking a dip in the river to cool off. This is a family friendly type of float, the current is usually mild, and the river is not too deep so its a great place the kids to swim. Need a shuttle service or to rent a kayak or tube, click here.
The Cedar Valley Paddlers Loop Trail
The Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail Loop is Iowa’s first designated water trail. The trail begins within George Wyth State Park in Waterloo Iowa. The park is located at 3659 Wyth Rd, in Waterloo, Iowa. For more information, click here. Cedar Valley Paddler’s Trail is a loop that connects the Cedar River, George Wyth State Park, and Hartman Reserve Nature Center. The trail consists of 8.4 miles of water and 1.6 miles of soft trail for portage. The trail consists of one main loop with some smaller offshoot options to lengthen or shorten your experience. This 10 mile excursion travels through the chain of lakes, down the Cedar River, through George Wyth State Park before returning to the start.
The Chicago River
Looking for an unforgettable experience? Look no further. The Fireworks Tour at Kayak Chicago is the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. It’s this reason the tour has become one of the most popular, with kayak enthusiasts traveling from all over the world to take part in this amazing float. This legendary tour lasts 3 hours and is only available on Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The tour begins near the North Branch of the Chicago River, on the peaceful back channel of Goose Island. From there you will travel down stream through the heart of Chicago past some of the most iconic buildings on Earth! For more information, click here.