Canoeing along a riverbank lets you get close to wildlife, much like sharing a strawberry with an elk. Share the great outdoors with this Groupon.
$35 for a Kishwaukee River Canoe Trip for Two ($70 Value)
Canoe trips begin with basic paddling instructions from the Larsen's Landing staff. Pairs then ride to their launch site—either the Espenscheid or Kishwaukee Forest Preserve, at 8.5 and 5.5 miles away, respectively—and set off in a rental canoe. The river's gentle flow makes for easy travel. Customers can order box lunches for an additional charge when they make their reservation, which must be made one week in advance. Click here for FAQs and tips about what to bring. This Groupon is not valid on Saturday.
Larsen's Landing Outfitters
Though Larsen's Landing Outfitters has always been family owned, the stretch of wilderness under its care has two additional overseers: a pair of eagles. The birds patrol 30 acres of sheltered trails, two open fields, and miles of marshes, watching visitors as they paddle rental canoes and kayaks down the pristine Kishwaukee River, which has been rated as one of the three cleanest rivers in the state. Visitors aren't alone, though. Beavers, turtles, otters, and sandhill cranes make their homes on the bank, sharing the shore with endangered black terns and mulberry wing butterflies. They move amidst towering trees, including the sycamores that gave the river its name, a Potawatomi word for river of the sycamore.
Like a grumpy scorpion, the river's flourishing ecosystem benefits from minimal and respectful human contact. Larsen's Landing Outfitters preserves this status while still permitting visitors to explore the environment. The staff plans canoe, kayak, and camping trips with package options, from tutorials on steering a boat to boxed lunches and picnic buffets. Travelers can park their vessels at any point to indulge in a swim, go fishing, or relax on a sandbar—and at overnight sites, campfires and pig roasts imbue the air with nostalgic, smoky aromas.