Rock River Trail receives recognition from both WI and IL legislatures

Please Mark your Calendar
Lake MichiganTrail Conference

November 8-9, 2012

Location: Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453 -                                               
Sponsor: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone Management Program
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone Management Program

Lake Michigan Watertrail Association

National Park Service - Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance

Michigan Department of Transportation


Who should attend?  Those with interests in the creation and marketing of a sea kayak route around the shore of Lake Michigan in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Those with interests in the extension, completion, and marketing of the U.S. Bicycle Routes around the shore of Lake Michigan.

Rock River Trail Video <>

posted Dec 9, 2012, 7:52 AM by Tom Lindblade


posted Oct 27, 2012, 5:21 PM by Tom Lindblade   [ updated Oct 27, 2012, 10:00 PM ]


This is a great list of used boats. All transactions are between buyer and seller. The IPC makes no warranties or guarantees.. It takes a lot of work to put this list together, so please let us know if you have bought or sold through it. Your comments will help us to decide whether to do this again.

September/ October Newsletter

posted Oct 9, 2012, 2:59 PM by Tom Lindblade   [ updated Oct 9, 2012, 3:04 PM ]

The Illinois Paddler
click here

Successful Voyager Landing Canoe/Kayak Race on Father’s Day!

posted Jul 12, 2012, 8:53 PM by Tom Lindblade   [ updated Jul 13, 2012, 7:05 PM ]

Illinois Paddling Council
hosted a successful canoe
and kayak race in Elgin Illinois at
Voyageur Landing County Forest
Preserve on Father’s day June 17
Participants enjoyed a beautiful Sunday
racing 8 miles and showcasing their skills
navigating the waters of the Fox River.

Several family members competed in
the race including the father and son
team of Ray and Dylan Grzenia winning
the Adult/Youth race in a time of
besting Don Browning and Riley Guibault
nd). Tave Lamperez won the Men’s C1
division completing the course in 1:23:28,
beating Aaron Vidusek(2
nd) 1:24:20,and
the rest of the field including Jan
rd),Mike Kies(4th), Alan Lancaster
th), and Jeff Ellison(6th). Don Mueggen-
borg and Mary Ellen Waterson won the
Mixed division 1:35:12 over father/daughter
team of Steve and Veronica Luth.


In the Men’s division Wally Werderich
and Matt Wright 1:24:02 beat Ben Josefik
and Ed Hahn(2
nd) 1:25:07 in an exciting
race in which the two teams battled back
and forth passing each other several times
throughout the race course. Pat Faul and
Steve Conlon teamed up in the Standard
division to win over JB Livengood and
the race host Kevin Bradley(2

The two fastest times of the day were
posted in the Open Kayak division with
Greg Weber winning with a blazing time
of 1:19:07 with Carl Teske placing 2nd in
1:22:52. John Halter showcased the
winning time for the K-1 Sea Kayak
division in 1:29:24.

After a fun day of racing all of the
participants were awarded T-shirts
and treated to a picnic lunch in the
forest preserve.

Upcoming Illinois Canoe and
ayak Races

Pecatonica River Trail Flotilla &
Canoe/Kayak Races July 14/15

Southern Sampler DuQuoin, IL
July 21/22 Email

Pontiac Canoe Race Pontiac,
IL August 5 Email:


posted Jun 25, 2012, 8:59 PM by Tom Lindblade

The Village of Algonquin is in the early stages of creating a new Downtown Plan, and of course they want the River to be a major focus.  They would be very interested in getting some input from those that use the river for non-motorboating recreational purposes.  They are even thinking about designing a recreational whitewater park.  I have talked to many village representatives and they all seem to be united with their beautiful river and conservation. They have a public input session tentatively planned for early- to mid-July, I will be notified when this happens. If interested in joining me please contact me at 630-220-0934 (Jodie) or 630-220-0937 (Ben).

Recreational Boating Fatalities at Highest Level Since 1998

posted May 16, 2012, 11:50 AM by Tom Lindblade

Recreational Boating Fatalities at Highest Level Since 1998
Coast Guard statistics for 2011 show too many perishing, injured
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 16, 2012 —Total boating fatalities last year rose to 758, the highest number on record since 1998, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s official 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics released today.
From 2010 to 2011, total reported accidents decreased less than one percent from 4,604 to 4,588, deaths increased 12.8 percent from 672 to 758 and injuries decreased 2.3 percent from 3,153 to 3,081. Property damage totaled approximately $52 million. The fatality rate measured 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 14.8 percent increase from last year’s rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of the deaths.
Seventy percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Only 11 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
“We’re alarmed about the staggering number of deaths,” said Capt. Paul Thomas, Director of Inspections & Compliance. Thomas emphasized the importance of boating responsibly, citing the story of a family who lost two children while kayaking in Big Horn Lake in Wyoming last summer. After the weather picked up, the seven kayaks capsized and the party became separated. Boaters should always check the weather forecast prior to launching and remain watchful of changing conditions.
The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, get a free vessel safety check and avoid alcohol consumption.
To view the 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics, go to For more information on boating responsibly, go to


posted Apr 11, 2012, 10:17 PM by Rich Comejo   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 10:27 PM ]

The Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) announces that the fourth annual *ILLINOIS PADDLESPORTS FESTIVAL* will take place the weekend of June 9, and 10, 2012 in Aurora’s beautiful Phillips Park.  The mission of the Festival is to introduce the general public to the wide variety of human powered boats, paddling clubs, the local paddlesport retailers, and to bring the Illinois paddling community together.

We’re changing the name from the “Aurora” Paddlesports Festival to the “Illinois” Paddlesports Festival to allow the event to grow and include events at other locations such as the Marge Cline Whitewater Park in Yorkville, the Fox River in Aurora and Lake Michigan.

This fun-filled weekend of paddling activities is designed to attract novices, the merely curious and experienced paddlers alike.  Once again the *City of Aurora*, will sponsor *FREE* two hour lessons in canoeing and kayaking taught by the Midwest’s best American Canoe Association certified instructors.

So *save the date* and plan to bring the family and friends to the Illinois Paddlesports Festival to try out a boat, take a lesson, camp for free on
the island in the lake and meet the friendly paddlers, instructors and retailers of Illinois’ paddlesport community.

Eric Jackson To Open New Outdoor Center

posted Apr 11, 2012, 10:16 PM by Rich Comejo   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 10:16 PM ]

Click below for News Release

Paddle And Trail Stores
7212 N. Alpine Rd., Loves Park, IL 61111, 815-636-9066
110 W. Grand Ave, Beloit, WI 53511, 608-362-6521
107 Spruce St., Aurora, IL, 630-506-5706

Geneva Kayak Center
301 E. Hydraulic, Yorkville, IL, 630-882-9211

For Immediate Release
For more information contact Therese Oldenburg, Paddle and Trail Marketing and Operations Director,, 608-931-6895.

Outdoor Leadership Center Grand Opening - May 3-5

March 22, 2012 – Yorkville, IL - Paddle and Trail and Geneva Kayak Center have announced they will be opening the Outdoor Leadership Center (OLC), a world-class paddlesport and outdoor skills school with its primary location in Yorkville, IL along the Marge Cline Whitewater Course. The OLC serves the region and nation with educational programs that can take beginners to the highest level of their chosen sport. On May 3-5 the Outdoor Leadership Center is celebrating their grand opening by hosting Eric Jackson, president of Jackson Kayak. Eric (EJ) Jackson is also a four-time world free style champion whitewater kayaker. Eric will be training OLC whitewater coaches and then holding 3-hour Strokes and Concepts Clinics. If you want to learn basic moves, run creeks or improve your freestyle skills, this clinic offers the perfect opportunity to learn these skills from a world champion. The clinics are limited to 8 participants and cost $200.

The Outdoor Leadership Center paddlesport school will be a Jackson Super School which means that OLC staff is trained by Eric Jackson and OLC students are taught in Jackson kayaks, one of the leading manufacturers of whitewater kayaks.

“The Outdoor Leadership Center offers the Chicago and Midwest adventure seekers the opportunity to learn to kayak in true Jackson Kayak style! Finally a strong, dedicated, professional kayak instruction and livery program in the Chicago area! Paddle and Trail has also committed to using the best kayaks on the market as a Super School for Jackson Kayak. We are very excited about this partnership.” said Eric Jackson, president of Jackson Kayak.

Weekend events:

Friday, May 4
1:00 - 4:00 pm - Strokes and Concepts Clinic, reservations required.
4:00-7:00 pm - Demo time to try out new boats, reservations required.
7:00 pm - Social Gathering and Film Screening, Kendall Pub, 201 S. Bridge St, Yorkville.

Saturday, May 5
9:00am - 12:00 pm - Strokes and Concepts Clinic, reservations required.
10:00 am - 5:00pm – Outdoor Leadership Center Open House
1:00pm - 4:00 pm - Strokes and Concepts Clinic, reservations required.

March / April Newsletter Now Available

posted Apr 11, 2012, 10:15 PM by Rich Comejo   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 10:15 PM ]

*Sigrid Pilgrim Recognized for Leadership*

posted Apr 11, 2012, 10:14 PM by Rich Comejo   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 10:20 PM ]

*Illinois Paddling Council Announces “Lifetime Achievement Award*

*Sigrid Pilgrim Recognized for Leadership*

*November 18, 2011* *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

On Saturday, November 19th, the Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) will present Evanston resident Sigrid Pilgrim with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”. “Sig” has been a lifelong advocate for paddling instruction and safety, a state and national paddling community leader, and one of the founders of the current incarnation of the Illinois Paddling Council. Sig Pilgrim was present at the rebirth of the Illinois Paddling Council as an advocacy organization on Oct.1, 1995 at the statewide "Gathering at the Confluence" near Channahon. She held the follow-up meeting a month or so later in the basement of her Evanston home. That meeting formally established the IPC as the statewide advocacy Council it is today.

In the mid 1990's Sig served three years on the board of American Canoe Association. From 1995 to 1998 she edited and published “Pole and Paddle”, the ACA’s Midwest Division newsletter. The national organization recognized Sig’s work with its “Outstanding ACA Division Volunteer Award” in 1997 and its “Presidents Award for Outstanding Service to ACA on a National Level” in 2004.

Sig was instrumental in producing the 1997 Safety on the Water Conference at the College of DuPage. She was an active member of Chicago Whitewater Association and for fourteen years organized and taught the club’s Evanston pool sessions. She was certified as a kayak instructor and organized and participated in the first Adaptive Paddling workshop in the Chicago area for people with disabilities.

Sig's untiring energy and unparalleled event production skills spearheaded the creation and success of “Paddling in the Park” for twelve years. The regional paddlesports festival was held in Palatine and featured local retailers, clubs and low cost paddling skills instruction.

For more than 15 years, Sig’s service as a board member, and her marketing talents, have helped the IPC promote the growth and membership of the Illinois Paddling Council, and its efforts to promote safety, access, communication, competition and conservation. Sig’s lengthy record of leadership in paddling clubs and state and national advocacy organizations, her promotion of paddling safety, and service as an instructor and river conservationist is truly inspiring. The Illinois Paddling Council is pleased to recognize Sigrid Pilgrim's decades of service with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

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