Canoed the Nippersink on Aug. 30th...

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Canoed the Nippersink on Aug. 30th...

Postby jerrymeadlucero on Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:06 pm

Canoed the Nippersink on Aug. 30th, 2010. We started at Keystone Rd. and took out at Lyle C. Thomas Memorial Park, two excellent launch sites. The distance between them is about 10 miles. It took us nearly 7 hours, a surprisingly long time, because we had to walk our canoe through shallow sections about a quarter of the overall trip.

The Nippersink is one of my favorite streams to canoe in Illinois, especially in regards to the scenery. It is a beautiful prairie stream with a nice mix of open views of the prairie and wooded sections. The water quality appears to be some of the best you can find within a few hours of Chicago. But water levels are a real problem. I would recommend checking the water levels very carefully before venturing out on the Nippersink. They day we canoed the river water levels were supposedly roughly 3.6 feet. But we spent roughly a quarter of the trip dragging the canoe over shallow sections. The bottom is often rocky and can severely scar the bottom of your canoe.

There are about a half dozen small rapids or rifles that have substantial rocks and could seriously damage your canoe if your not careful. We got a lot of deep scraps on the bottom of my practically new Old Town Guide 147. When trying to pull the canoe over a few of these rocky rifles we quickly found ourselves moving from water that was less than 6 inches high to water that was up to my waist in a very short distance. The bottom seemed highly uneven. Unfortunately the numerous obstructions, strainers, rocks and shallow sections ruined what would have otherwise been a beautiful trip. I don’t think I will try the Nippersink again unless the water level is over 4 feet.

For water levels on the Nippersink you can check the following link…

Paddling Illinois-Revised (Fourth Edition) by Mike Svob is an excellent guide to all of Illinois rivers and provides excellent maps of the Nippersink.

Here are more helpful links… ... age-2.html ... _Trail.pdf
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