Fox River Kayaking: Exploring the Beauty of the Aurora Area

Are you ready for an exciting adventure along the Fox River in the Aurora Area of Illinois? Discover the stunning natural landscapes and thrilling water activities that await you in this picturesque region. Join us as we explore the best spots to put in, take out, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the Fox River. Get ready to immerse yourself in outdoor adventures like kayaking, cycling, running, or simply taking a leisurely stroll on the Fox River Trails. With over 200 miles of river to explore, we’ll focus on the 25-mile segment that runs through the Aurora Area communities of Aurora, Batavia, Montgomery, North Aurora, Oswego, and Yorkville.

Fabulous Fox River Water Trail

No Kayak? No Problem!

Don’t worry if you don’t have a kayak of your own. The Aurora Area offers kayak rentals through park districts and private rental businesses. Let’s take a look at some options:

Howling Wolfe Canoe & Kayak

Experience the Fox River with the help of seasoned guide Jake Wolfe. His canoe and kayak rental business, established in 2021, coincides perfectly with the increasing popularity of the river as a travel destination. In addition to rentals, Howling Wolfe offers lessons and guided tours of the Fox River. For more information, visit or call 630.344.9744.

Yak Shack LLC

For whitewater kayaking enthusiasts, Yak Shack LLC is the perfect choice. Run by experienced whitewater kayaker Jeff Brown, Yak Shack offers shuttle and rental services on the lower portion of the Fox River near Yorkville. You can also sign up for whitewater kayaking classes at the Marge Cline Whitewater Course. Discover more at

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Batavia Park District

The Batavia Park District now offers kayak rentals at the Batavia Riverwalk. Schedule your rental during the specified timings: Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 5-8pm; Tuesday-Thursday: 12-2pm and 5-8pm; and 1-6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Make a day of it by visiting the brand new Boardwalk Shops and experiencing the joy of kayaking on this gentle segment above the Batavia Depot Pond.

Batavia Riverwalk

Top-to-Bottom Guide of Fox River Segments in the Aurora Area

Let’s dive into the various segments of the Fox River in the Aurora Area, each offering its own unique charm and natural beauty.

Batavia to North Aurora

Embark on a 2.5-mile journey through a picturesque tree-lined stretch of the river. This tranquil segment is a haven for birdwatching, with a rookery that houses dozens of nests, home to egrets and waterfowl. Make sure to paddle to the left after passing the scenic overlook to get an up-close view of a dolomite cavern, a popular attraction for families. Take out above the North Aurora dam at Riverfront Park, where ample parking is available. Please exercise caution while portaging near the dam, as it requires experience and careful maneuvering.

North Aurora to Aurora

Experience a 3.5-mile stretch that takes you under charming bridges and past small islands teeming with wildlife, including river otters and various species of waterfowl. Rest and relax at Cool Acres, a Fox Valley Park District property, complete with a fishing pier, sand volleyball court, and playground. On concert nights at RiverEdge Park, kayakers can enjoy live music from the water. Treat yourself to delicious food and beverages at Two Brothers Roundhouse, or explore downtown Aurora, which boasts boutique shops, dining options, museums, and events. Due to pedestrian bridge construction, we recommend taking out at Illinois Avenue/Spiers Island beach, located approximately half a mile north of Aurora Downtown.

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Kayakers at RiverEdge Park

Aurora to Oswego

Embark on a 6.5-mile journey filled with diverse and captivating scenery. Marvel at an old trestle bridge and make a pit stop at Montgomery to visit Atrevete Confections, a delightful chocolatier known for mouthwatering pastries. As you approach downtown Oswego, disembark just south of Route 34. Take the opportunity to visit Fox Valley Winery or Oswego Brewing Co., browse through a selection of eclectic boutiques and specialty shops, and savor the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Oswego.

Oswego to Yorkville

This 6.3-mile segment offers a scenic and enjoyable paddle. Begin your adventure at the shallow sandbar beach in Hudson Crossing Park or use the put-in just south of Route 34, where parking is conveniently available next to Tap House Grill Oswego. Glide past vibrant wildflower patches and the breathtaking Saw Wee Kee Park. The floating take-out point above Marge Cline Whitewater Course provides easy access. Take a moment to relax and enjoy beautiful views of the Fox River from the patio at Southbank Original Barbecue, treat yourself to an ice cream cone at Foxy’s, and explore outstanding dining options at

Whitewater Kayaking on the Fox River

Calling all thrill-seekers! You can put your skills to the test at the Marge Cline Whitewater Course in Yorkville, Illinois. This purpose-built 1,100-foot-long bypass chute allows kayakers and tubers to continue their Fox River journey without the need to portage around the Glen D. Palmer lowhead dam. It also offers Class I and II rapids, making it one of the few consistent sources of rapids in the Midwest. The nearly 6-foot drop from the top to the bottom of the chute provides an exhilarating experience. Take advantage of conveniently located eddies to rest and practice different segments of the course. If you prefer to portage, there are easy access points above the whitewater course, including a handicap-accessible kayak and canoe launch dock and a mobile boat cart for walking the length of the course.

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Read Julie Ap’s captivating story about her first-time rapids conquest on the Fox River at the blog.

Whitewater Kayaking at Marge Cline Whitewater Course

Links to More Information about the Fox River

Explore further resources and information about the Fox River:

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Fox River in the Aurora Area. Experience the thrill of kayaking, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the river, and create lasting memories. Start planning your adventure today! UpStreamPaddle