Difficulty I at this flow (I-II normally)
Length Miles
Flow Range 100 - 500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 88.7 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/02/2019 1:08 am

River Description

Quick Facts:
Location: Elgin, IL.
Shuttle Length: 2.4 miles. (See details in "Directions" Tab.)
Character: In town run, through wooded parks, past homes, and finishing on a college campus.
Drainage area: approximately 38.9 square miles (at gauge at Big Timber Road).

Put-in elevation is approximately 795'.
Take-out elevation is approximately 710'.
Thus total elevation change is approximately 85'.

Information (lat, lng, elev, total drop, run length, shuttle length) adjusted and/or verified from best manual extrapolation of online data (via maps.google.com, distance measuring tool, and other resources). 2009.03.10

Richard DeGroat (Sugar Grove) and Andy Smith (Hinckley) provide (2009-03-14):
Not a bad little creek at all for the beginner boater at a low level (around 100 cfs) and the intermediate paddler at a higher level (200 cfs plus). The day we ran it it was rather low but still enjoyable (112 cfs). A couple of strainers that hopefully at higher levels would be overcome with water (always scout if inexperienced with river reading). From the old dam at the park down to Judson College is where the creek really comes alive. Can't wait to paddle it at around 275 cfs. which I think will be an ideal level.

We have no specific info on viable put-in location, shuttle information, drops or features. We encourage additional input from any knowledgeable paddler.

There are reports that Judson College (and its security personnel) are likely to take issue with boaters being on this stream.

Rapid Descriptions

USGS Gauge

Class - Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing
Latitude 42°03'30",   Longitude 88°18'14"
Kane County, Illinois, Hydrologic Unit 07120006
Drainage area: 38.9 square miles
Datum of gage: 745.00 feet above sea level

Wing Park Wave

Class - II Mile - 2.2
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Convenient parking in Wing Park (for the pool) can provide access to this wave for park-and-play.
In the event that this runs in summer, expect spectators casually watching you as they head across the pedestrian bridge to the pool.


default user thumbnail
10 years ago

I ran this river 6/25/09 at about 230 cfs. The entire first half of the river had almost no whitewater, but was a pretty fun float with only 2 or 3 portages over log jams. The fun began at the public pool area next to the golf corse a bit before going under 31. There was a class II- or class I+ drop there that I played in for quite some time while people watched from the walk bridge going over to the pool. Past that there were some small waves and some very small drops all the way to Judson college with a couple more portages. On the campus, there was a class I drop that was also fun to play in. I took out at the Judson campus and the bacon bits (security) came and got on to me for paddling in their creek. We argued and I told them that I would paddle there whenever I wanted, but would stay off of their property because I am obviously such a menace to their students. My suggestion would be to put in at the pool near the golf corse and park and play there or go on down to the judson campus, but have a shuttle vehicle ready there because they may not be friendly. Anybody want to paddle in Chi-town or elsewhere, feel free to give me a call: John Hudson 630-550-9832

Gage Descriptions

The USGS gauge is at Big Timber Road, which is about 1.4 miles upstream from the Fox River. Being on this reach, the gauge will be very accurate at showing the actual flow in the reach.

Min Sug. Level ('Minimum Suggested Level') is strictly a guess, based solely upon 10% flow. Best levels for runnability are not known. Anyone with suggestions for minimum level (for a decent whitewater experience) is encouraged to provide input via the "Comments" tab.

Max Sug. Level ('Maximum Suggested Level') is strictly a guess, solely to represent levels 'above the norm'. The river may be runnable much higher, and, in fact, many experienced boaters may prefer levels above this value, indeed often using it as almost their 'minimum'! However, paddlers who find this reach (at it's 'normal' levels) to be perhaps at the extent of their personal comfort level and whitewater skills, are likely to be pushed beyond safety and comfort as the river exceeds this 'Max Sug. Level'. While the inherent difficulty ('class' rating) of individual rapids or the run as a whole may or may not increase, the consequence of a mishap almost certainly will. Best levels for runnability are not known. Anyone with suggestions for maximum level (for average boaters to have a decent whitewater experience) is encouraged to provide input via the "Add a Comment" button (which should appear at bottom of main-page description for all registered logged-in users).

Gauge/flow analysis (based on USGS data, 1998.05.28-2009.03.10)
Drainage area at gauge: 38.9 sq.mi.
Minimum daily mean flow (2003.09.10): 0.66 cfs
90% of time flow exceeds: 2.5 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 77 cfs
Maximum daily mean flow (2007.08.24): 1030 cfs
10/90 ratio ('flashy-ness'): 30.8 (under 3 is quite steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')

Directions Description

We are uncertain of exact location of usual or best access for put-in. Listed is just a guess, based upon second- or third-hand info suggesting the run is 'about 4 miles long' and 'finishes in Judson College or at Fox River'. As a result, the following shuttle information may not be accurate either. Anyone with more specific information about access and parking for put-in is encouraged to provide that info for your fellow paddlers.

No Accident Reports






Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195577 06/27/09 Rob
1195885 08/27/09 Rob Add notice re: Access Issues; Add 'Abstract'
1208813 01/28/18 Rob minor edit (gauge analysis)
1211716 04/02/19 Rob updated image position
1195442 06/11/09 Rob
1194941 03/12/09 n/a n/a
1195448 06/12/09 Rob