Warmer weather means it’s time to get on the water in Naperville, with plenty of options to choose from: whether through the Park District, Forest Preserves, Special Rental Groups or even Naper settlement.
The Naperville Park District opens its paddle boat quarry today. The quarry will be open weekends in May, with paddleboards, kayaks and of course pedal boats available for hire from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekday rental hours will begin on Memorial Day. The quarry is along the Naperville Riverwalk near Rotary Hill and the Riverwalk Café. Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the rental cabin next to the quarry. Fee information is available on the Naperville Park District website.
More kayak and paddle board options
Kayaking enthusiasts can also swim at Lake Whalon, located near Royce Road. Naperville Kayak is currently offering single, tandem and fishing kayak rentals Friday through Sunday through August 14. They will then be available on Saturdays and Sundays from August 20 to October 2. A maximum of 30 rented kayaks are allowed on the lake at one time. . Booking can be done onsite, but Naperville Kayak encourages people to book online for the best chance of availability.
Will County’s Forest Preserve District also allows personal kayaks and canoes on Lake Whalon, with no boating pass required. There is also trailer parking and a Whalon Lake boat launch for small fishing boats, no fees or permits required. A complete list of watercraft and boating regulations for Will County reservations is available on the Forest Preserve District website.
Naperville Kayak also offers kayak and paddleboard tours on the West Arm of the DuPage River. These adventures are for those who have kayaked or paddleboarded before and meet the age and weight requirements. Travel time depends on water flow, ranging from one and a half to two and a half hours. River trips are weather dependent and only operated when the river is safe for paddling. They start at Riverview Farmstead Preserve, at the corner of Book Road and Hassert Boulevard. The reservation is made online.
Boating nearby… and more paddle boards!
DuPage County’s Forest Preserve District also offers on-water experiences nearby. Canoes, kayaks and rowboats can all be rented at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville and at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. Blackwell also offers paddleboard rentals.
Rentals in Blackwell are open on weekends from now until Memorial Day, when they will be available daily until September 25. Rentals in Herrick Lake are only available on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Some private watercraft are permitted on Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve. Boats must be less than 20 feet in length with a valid Hull Identification Number. Only state-registered electric motors are allowed. A forest reserve permit is required. Inflatable boats must be properly certified or have factory-made hardened floors. Stand up paddle is allowed if the user has a private watercraft license. More details on eligible watercraft can be found on the DuPage County Forest Preserve District website.
The Forest Preserve has also added an ADA-accessible kayak and canoe boat launch at Silver Lake in Blackwell Forest Preserve, the first permanent of its kind in the district.
Centennial Beach is set to open Memorial Day weekend, with swimming season kicking off on Saturday, May 28. Offerings include a sandy beach, waterslide, deep water and swimming area, zero-depth entry, and picnic areas. Subscriptions are currently available for purchase online, and those purchased before May 30 will receive a discounted price. Also through May 30, a special “plus friends” option is available for purchase, which allows members to bring two additional guests on any given day.
The park area also offers several programs at the beach, such as swimming lessons, aqua fitness classes, paddleboard yoga, water polo, and springboard diving lessons. Returning this year, Special Needs Nights offer families with special needs the chance to spend time in the water after hours. These will take place on the evenings of June 12 and 26, and July 17 and 24,
The beach is located at 500 W. Jackson Avenue.
The Naperville Park District wading pools will also open on Memorial Day weekend. There are two to choose from, including one at 95and Street Community Plaza and the other at Wolf’s Crossing Community Park. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The park district has a status page to let the public know if the wading pools have had to close due to weather or any other issue.
There is also another wading pool in Naperville, in Naper Settlement. It takes place in the Harvard Early Learning Playscape, which is designed for children ages 2-7. The Settlement activates the water games from May 15 to September 30 on days when the weather reaches 70 degrees or more. Use of the playscape and wading pool is included in the visitor’s general admission to the museum.
Noon Spray Abandoned
With two wading pools and Centennial Beach once again available to residents, the Naperville Park District announces that it will no longer offer the Midday Spray at Rotary Hill. The spray was launched in 2020 as a way to provide summer fun with the safety of social distancing.
Reporting by Kim Pirc of Naperville News 17.
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