ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — You don’t have to go far to find adventure in the Stateline, take a trip on a canoe down the Kishwaukee River sit back, paddle along and enjoy the view.
On Monday Nights during the summer months you can be a part of Severson Dells canoeing convoys at no cost, all you have to do it show up.
Jessie Crow-Mermel the marketing and developing assistant at Severson Dells says the program highlights the nature the Stateline has to offer.
“You don’t need mountains, I mean you can just enjoy the beauty of the prairies, and the rivers and the forests here,” said Crow-Mermel.
To join the weekly paddle, you have to reserve a spot with a refundable $10 deposit.
Life jackets and canoes are provided and after an introduction to paddling and water safety you’re ready to go.
The free activity is meant to give individuals and families the opportunity to get outdoors to explore the area.
“It makes it accessible to people who might not have the funds to go out and buy their own gear, even it can be expensive to rent gear, so it really provides the opportunity for people no matter what their background is to enjoy being on the water,” said Crow-Mermel.
As you paddle along the river banks, the knowledgeable volunteers point out different species of wild life and plants and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle.
“The river, you see everything in a completely different perspective than you would from on the trail,” said Andrea Wallace, a naturalist and educator with Severson Dells.
If canoeing isn’t your thing, or want to find other paddling routes and other areas to explore, you can check out the 815 outside website or Facebook page. There you’ll find all kinds of outdoor activities.
“Getting outside falling in love with the natural world is such an important aspect to preserving our natural spaces, so it’s really crucial I think that we get more people outside to fall in love with our area,” said Crow-Mermel.