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Your Forest Preserves

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Des Plaines River Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide


0.5 acres


Boating / Canoeing / Kayaking
Cross-Country Skiing
Independence Grove Concerts


Public Parking

Related Sites 

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
Independence Grove
Independence Grove Dog Exercise Area
Independence Grove Visitors Center

Independence Grove Canoe Launch

Construction Alert

The Illinois Department of Transportation is replacing the Grand Avenue bridge over the Des Plaines River. Please use caution and slow down when passing under the bridge.



Bring your own canoe and launch it on the Des Plaines River. The launch, located near the preserve's North Bay Pavilion, offers shoreline fishing, a trail connection to the Des Plaines River Trail, and parking.

If you put your canoe in at Independence Grove, the next Forest Preserve ramp is at Oak Spring Road, 2.7 miles downstream.

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The Canoe Launch is located in the northwest corner of Independence Grove Forest Preserve, on Buckley Road (Route 137) east of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) in Libertyville. Follow signs to the Canoe Launch parking area.



Land for the Wadsworth Road canoe launch located in Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve in Wadsworth was the first acquired in 1973. Acquisition of the Route 60 canoe launch located in Wright Woods Forest Preserve in Mettawa, and the Oak Spring Road canoe launch in Wilmot Woods Forest Preserve followed in 1975. In 1984, the Russell Road canoe launch in Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve in Wadsworth was added to the Forest Preserve holdings. The canoe launch at Independence Grove in Libertyville opened in 2001.


The Natural Scene

Preservation of the Des Plaines River Greenway has been a key priority since the Forest Preserve District was founded in 1958.

It protects land along more than 85 percent of the river in Lake County, providing wildlife habitat, natural flood protection and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The trail currently stretches 31 miles and connects preserves with local parks and communities as it winds through the Greenway from just south of the Illinois-Wisconsin border to Deerfield. Bridges and underpasses make it possible to travel without crossing any major roads.

The trail follows the river's edge from Russell Road in Wadsworth to West Riverside Drive in Lincolnshire. It picks up again just north of Estonian Lane and runs south to Lake Cook Road where it connects to Cook County Forest Preserve trails.


Preserve News

ALERT: Trail Closures
Preserve safety tips
Board approves 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan