Yesterday, Hubby and I took a little day trip down the Des Plaines River. We put in our canoe at Russel Road, canoed through Van Patten Woods, under the bridge at 173 and south, taking out directly after Wadsworth Rd. in Wadsworth, Illinois. According to the map the entire trip was 6.25 river miles, and it took us 3 hours and 45 minutes. The first half of the trip had quite a few shallow spots, some parts were so shallow we had to get out and push, but there was only one portage for a beaver dam. The second half of the trip was plenty deep, and well shaded by trees. While the first part of the trip was absolutely beautiful, I have to say I liked the second half of the trip better as it was more relaxing..
Here's the things I really liked about this portion of the river:
-Very clean. I saw very little garbage in or around the river, which is great. Good job everybody for doing their part!
-Lots of wildlife. We saw a few different types of cranes, and several other species of birds, a beaver, a muskrat, and a few fish that just wanted to jump into our boat.
-Canoe Launches. The canoe launches were easy to find and well maintained.
Here's a few things I didn't care for as much:
-Mud. The Des Plaines has a sandy, muddy bottom, if I can be picky, I prefer a pebble or rock bottom...that way you don't sink and get stuck when you have to get out of the boat and push.
-Traffic. This part of the river is absolutely beautiful. We went nearly the whole trip without seeing a person, car or house. BUT, we heard the traffic on Rt 41 nearly the whole way. Now, I cannot be too negative about this because this is the trade off when you are on a easily accessible river in the middle of a heavily populated county.