Kayaking and Canoeing in Southern Illinois


Pope County is the best place to canoe or kayak in Southern Illinois. The variety of streams and rivers provide a wonderful array of water rafting experiences for every skill level from beginner to advanced. Put in at any point on these bodies of water to enjoy the wonders of the Shawnee Forest waterways.

Lusk Creek offers white water enthusiasts the adventure of a lifetime right here in the heart of the midwest. The rapids range in size from class 3 to class 4 depending on the time of year. Please be aware of recent rainfall levels and other elements that may impact the volume of water flowing through the creek as conditions may become hazardous.

For a full day on Lusk Creek, put in at Iron Bridge and paddle all the way to the Ohio River. This 8 hour excursion is sure to delight the senses as you pass through some of the most pristine ecological and wildlife areas in Shawnee National Forest.

If you’re looking for a more intense rafting experience, put in at Regan Road and travel upstream. For experienced kayakers, this trip offers intense paddling and a chance to use technical skills that challenge even the most advanced river enthusiasts right here in Southern Illinois.

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, visit Lake Glendale and paddle the lake. This is a wonderful recreational area for beginner paddlers or families that would like to experience a little bit of everything that Southern Illinois has to offer from hiking and paddling to boating and fishing, even camping.