Q: Whitewater in Illinois!?
A: Of course there is!

The Vermilion River in North/Central Illinois (LaSalle County) Features some astounding class II-III rapids and some great scenery to boot (except towards the end...

This site contains information about the stretch from Lowell to Oglesby. This section is sometimes referred to as the "Wildcat section" or "gorge" named for it's most prominent rapid, "Wildcat". Wildcat is located in the middle of the run in a "gorge" (atleast by Illinois standards!) This stretch of the river contains several class II-III rapids with plenty of playboat potential. It's drop/pool configuration (and we are talking some BIG pools), and forgiving nature makes it an excellent teaching stream.

WARNING: Not only does the Vermilion river contain whitewater rapids that could pose a threat to one's life, there is also low head damn located at the cement factory that has claimed the life of a paddler in the past. Portaging any rapids that are beyond a paddlers ability is recommended!

For the American Whitewater's information on the June 1996 drowning at the dam, check out their report.

Rafting: I get alot of requests for information about rafting the Vermilion. I don't know much, other than the one company that rents rafts, "Vermillion River Rafting" and here is their Contact Info

2006 River's End