Des Plaines - a) Wheeling, Dam #1 (Removed) (PnP)

Des Plaines, Illinois, US


a) Wheeling, Dam #1 (Removed) (PnP)

Usual Difficulty I-II (varies with level)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-05529000 150 - 800 cfs I-II 00h24m 343 cfs (running)
Moderate flows. We have no information on whether any play now exists at these flows. Help your fellow paddlers with a comment or report. Gauge (360 sq.mi. drainage) is 3 miles downstream (at dam#2), thus is very accurate for flows at this playspot.

River Description

This park and play feature is (was) located on the Des Plaines River in Wheeling, Illinois. "Bill's Hole" was named afer Bill Kinsella who scouted out the feature and had used it for years.

Access from a Cook County Forest Preserve parking lot at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Hintz Road. This is about halfway between Willow/Palatine Road (to the south) and Dundee Road (to the north). Both Willow and Dundee road have exits from the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to the east. The feature is accessible and runnable most of the year, though the forest preserve gates are closed at dusk.

Mike Pond reports (2014.04.28):
I paddled the remains of Dam 1. For the most part Bill's Hole is is gone. However a nice pile of rocks sits in the middle of the river. At 500 cfs, two crisp lines spun off the rock pile and an eddy forms behind the rock pile. This offers a great place to introduce beginners to peel outs, flat spins, ferrying, and stern squirts. The depth of the river (for practicing rolls in the eddy pool) was about 4.5 feet with a sandy bottom. BEWARE: rivers change and so does the bottom. Lastly. Cook County Forest Preserve did a nice job; Having the ability to pull right up to the waters edge to load and unload your boat is a nice touch.

Thanks so much, Mike, for those reports!

Dam#2 was three or four miles downriver in Mount Prospect but has also been removed. We have no reports whether any rock/rubble remains here to allow for any whitewater practice or play.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-01-27 21:11:35


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Riverside: Dam (REMOVED)IPlayspot
0.0Mt.Prospect: Dam #2 (REMOVED)N/AAccess
0.0Wheeling: Dam#1 (REMOVED)N/A

Rapid Descriptions

Riverside: Dam (REMOVED) (Class I)

This dam has been removed! It appears there may be some riffles and rips through here now. In the past, boaters have been told they may not access the river from anyplace near here. We have no awareness whether this continues to be the case with the dam/hazard removed.

Mt.Prospect: Dam #2 (REMOVED) (Class N/A)

While is still visible (as of 2015.03.21), we are told this dam has been removed. We have no information whether any riffles remain at this site.

Wheeling: Dam#1 (REMOVED) (Class N/A)

This had been the site of "Bill's Hole" prior to removal. We are told there remains some amount of rock here, allowing for minor play at some flows. In general, this is so very much less of interest as to be a non-entity.

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