Kane County Chronicle

St Charles Park District: Paddle and pedal along the Fox River

Nestled along the Fox River, Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles has several great ways for visitors to enjoy the river without breaking the budget for fun.

Get a new perspective of downtown St. Charles while paddling down the river. Plus, kayaking is a great cardio workout. The St. Charles Park District offers four single-person kayaks that can be rented hourly for only $16, recreation supervisor Cayla Greenfield said.

“That hour in the kayak can go quick and people often come and ask if they can go for another hour,” she said.

For those seeking more kayak fun or experience, the park district will have boating classes this summer including kayak fishing, kayak fitness and an introduction into kayaking, Greenfield said.

“We know owning a kayak can be expensive and it requires a vehicle to transport it, too. Rentals and classes are an easy way to enjoy or try out the sport,” Greenfield said.

Individuals need to be 16 or older and have a valid driver’s license or state ID to rent a kayak. Lifejackets are included in the rental.

For another way to enjoy time on the water, consider renting the park district’s pedal boats. Each pedal boat has four seats and individuals use a pedal, like a bicycle, to propel the boats through the water with a steering device in one of the seats.

“We see a lot of families with kids enjoying taking in views of nature while floating on the water,” Greenfield said.

Pedal boat rentals are available for one hour and must have at least one individual age 18 and older for the rental. Each pedal boat rental is $20 an hour.

“You do not need any experience. It’s really easy to use,” Greenfield said. “It’s a lot of fun and an hour is plenty of time to go around in the designated area of the river.”

Kayak and pedal boat rentals are available adjacent to the River View Miniature Golf Course at the refreshment stand, where there are plenty of snacks and beverages for visitors to enjoy.

If relaxing on the water is the aim, there’s no better way to travel than by paddlewheel riverboat. The park district operates two paddlewheel riverboats that travel the Fox River with weekend cruises through October. Daily cruises Tuesday through Friday are at 1:30 p.m. beginning in June.

During the summer, specialty event cruises are offered. Sunset cruises are timed to enjoy the beauty of the slow-setting sun and spectacular views from the river.

To buy tickets and learn more about specialty cruises, visit stcriverboats.com. Private charter cruises can be booked for special occasions and groups, such as a company work outing, bridal shower or intimate wedding reception.

For those who prefer to enjoy the river while keeping their feet on dry land, Pottawatomie Park is a wonderful way to enjoy the views, whether strolling the trails, riding a bike, visiting the playgrounds or playing a game of miniature golf. Putt & Save specials are offered weekly June through August.

“If you find you need to wait for a pedal boat or kayak, you can always enjoy some mini golf or a snack. There’s plenty to experience in Pottawatomie Park,” Greenfield said.