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Des Plaines River Trail Map
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Boating / Canoeing / Kayaking
Cross-Country Skiing


Public Parking

Related Sites 

Captain Daniel Wright Woods Canoe Launch (Route 60)
Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
Independence Grove Canoe Launch
Sedge Meadow Canoe Launch (Wadsworth Road)
Van Patten Woods Canoe Launch (Russell Road)

Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch

Construction Alert | Aug 13–29

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.

Paddle down the scenic Des Plaines River or fish along its banks at one of five Canoe Launches provided by the Lake County Forest Preserves. All launch areas offer canoe access to the river, shoreline fishing and parking. This launch also offers a connection to the Des Plaines River Trail. 

If you put in here, the next Forest Preserve ramp is at Route 60 in Wright Woods Forest Preserve, 4.5 miles downstream.

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The Canoe Launch entrance is located on Oak Spring Road west of Saint Mary’s Road in Libertyville, and is part of Wilmot Woods Forest Preserve.



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 annual Canoe Marathon is the largest and longest down river canoe event in Illinois. The race covers 19.5 miles of the Des Plaines River, beginning at the Oak Spring Road Canoe Launch.


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.

© Kim Karpeles

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