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Fox (Illinois R. trib.) - D) Yorkville: Marge Cline Whitewater Course at Bicentennial Riverfront Park (PnP)
Fox (Illinois R. trib.), Illinois, US
D) Yorkville: Marge Cline Whitewater Course at Bicentennial Riverfront Park (PnP)
I-II (varies with level)
Center Wave Mid January 2011
Center Wave Mid January 2011 Photo by John Sexton taken 01/08/11 @ low runnable level
Perhaps optimum playable flows. (We welcome further input to fine-tune characterization of features at various flows.) Gauge (1732 sq.mi. drainage) is 10 miles upstream. Flow in course may be slightly regulated by stop blocks at head of course. New gauge to be installed at site
Location: Downtown Yorkville (Approximately 12 miles southwest from Aurora, 50 miles southwest of
Shuttle Length: Carry up (park-and-play)
Character: "Playpark" in a constructed channel around a dam on a fairly large watershed
river (therefore almost always at least some playable flow).
The 1100' long channel contains two separate channels -- one being class I-II (to allow
recreational canoes and kayaks to safely bypass the dam), the other channel being a
"challenge" channel containing one or two class II-III features to allow whitewater
boaters a place to practice and play. In all fairness (and in the interests of full disclosure),
this is not a multi-featured full-length course (like the East Race in South
Bend, Indiana or the whitewater course in Wausau, Wisconsin). It is primarily a canoe-bypass and
fish ladder, and a couple of relatively mild playspots. However, it is a wonderful and convenient
place for Greater Chicago area (N.E.Illinois) boaters to go play in moving water with playable
features, especially since it is likely to hold sufficient flow to be boatable almost 24/7/365!
(OK, a bit of exaggeration -- it should have adequate flow all summer for at least some mild
play, but it is likely to ice-up and be unavailable in the thick of winter.) Additional
facilities (buildings/retail/concessions) are anticipated to allow for this to become an even
better training grounds for prospective whitewater boaters in the Northern Illinois area.
There is a parking lot adjacent to the course on the South side of the river, East of Hwy.47.
The background on this facility is that the dam at this location has been responsible for
more than a dozen deaths, including three Memorial Weekend, 2006 (at a level
around 2250 cfs). So, during the winter of 2008/2009 the dam was reconstructed (so as to not
create such a 'killer hydraulic'). Summer/fall 2009 (continuing into 2010) saw
construction on an adjacent bypass channel, both as a fish ladder, and as a whitewater