Difficulty II(IV) at this flow (I-II(IV) normally)
Length 0.05 Miles
Flow Range 500 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 4380 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 1:00 am

River Description

Quick Facts:

Location: Downtown Batavia, IL (Approximately 40 miles due west from downtown Chicago).
Shuttle Length: Carry up (Park-and-huck/park-and-play)
Character: City surroundings. A dam on a fairly large watershed river (therefore almost always at least some semi-playable flow) provides local boaters moving water practice, and (with caution) a IV-ish slot to run.

General Overview

An 8' dam (sloping face, runnable in a number of different spots at different levels, for varied thrills) is followed by good currents. At high water, a river-right bedrock slide (shown in the foreground in the 'feature photo' above-right) provides a bit of a 'rapids-running' opportunity, while river-left route provides a quick class IV-ish plunge. This slot is prone to catching debris, thus should always be scouted before running. As of this writing (2006.02.26) it is completely clear.


While this entire area is not generally noted for any specific playspots, it does have its proponents as a convenient spot for locals to get a bit of a moving water workout. You can practice eddy-turns, ferries, peel-outs, and assorted other skills, in addition to the possibility of getting a short, quick 'vertical rush'.

Note: This is not recommended for those not familiar with whitewater and features that cause hydraulic recirculations. "Low-head" dams are one of the most hazardous and potentially fatal river features that paddlers encounter. Many people die each year trying to run dams and getting inescapably caught in the recirculation at the base of the dam.

Before anyone considers running any dam, they should have formal paddling training, and have the knowledge and good judgement to know the difference between a fun situation and one that is a potential killer. Paddling with at least two partners, each having throw ropes is (as always) advised, in order to be prepared to handle emergency situations. That said, at a very wide range of flows, this area holds very little risk for experienced paddlers.

Rapid Descriptions

The Corner

Class - III+ Mile - 0

Far river left, the dam is a broken jumble of rock, forming a short class III-IV chute. At the base of the flow water piles up into a wall sticking out into the flow from the vertical wall of a building (forming the 'riverbank' on the left). Solid boating skills may be needed to avoid hammering into this wall and flipping.

The Slide

Class - III Mile - 0

Just to the right of 'The Corner' lies 'The Slide'. The cement of the dam has a fine dip and lip, which will launch you into a great 'boof' into the pool below. It may be a bit difficult (from your boat, above the drop) to tell if you are lined up correctly. Take careful note of 'markers' to hit this spot!

The Wall

Class - N/A Mile - 0

Any runs of 'The Corner' have to be done with caution because of the wall below. While always at least a mild hazard, in winter the hazard may be more extreme, as an ice shelf will form. Being pushed toward it (in or out of your boat) you are likely to get stuffed under. It is highly recommended (especially for any winter runs) to have someone at the ready with rescue gear and the training to know how to use it.

Exit Ramp (Right Side Slide)

Class - II+ Mile - 0

At river right, the dam abuts bedrock on shore. At moderate-to-higher flows, this will form a sweet roundhouse 'exit-ramp' slide into the pool below. A few minor waves may form here at certain flows.


Gage Descriptions

There are numerous dams on this river, and the gauge is downstream of this reach, but should provide good indicator for flow at this location.

I have no first-hand knowledge of good levels for this reach. My impression is it is almost always do-able, just different challenge and opportunities at different levels.

Anyone with more specific information is welcome to add a comment (via the button which should appear below for all signed-up, logged-on users of the AW website).

Directions Description

Please ignore the shuttle directions below. This is a park-and-play, so your 'shuttle' is just carrying from your car to the put-in (above the dam), and then carrying back to your car from your take-out (below the dam).

This 'directions' page is enabled primarily so you can use the text-entry box to input your home or other starting address to get time, distance, and driving directions to this location.

No Accident Reports




article main photo

Illinois proposed "Exclusion Zones" threaten boating

Kevin Colburn

The state of Illinois has proposed a new dam safety law.  The proposed law includes the establishment of a 300 ft upstream and 50 ft downstream exclusion zone around “dams” identified by the law as a threat to boaters. The law would prevent portage at many dams, effectively preventing public recreation.  It would also senselessly end use at at least one popular whitewater feature.




Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1201671 11/14/12 Rob Add descriptions of 'features' and other minor changes.
1211702 04/02/19 Rob updated image position
1201672 11/14/12 Rob Tweak put-in/take-out for directions mapping to work.
1194086 11/26/08 n/a n/a