Take to the water: Kayaking season here on Will County waterways

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer a Summer Kick-off Paddle from 1-3 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Lake Chaminwood in Channahon.

It’s time to start splish splashing your way through summer with a Forest Preserve District of Will County paddling program.

The lineup kicks off with a Kayak Kollege at Monee Reservoir on Tuesday, June 4, and it slips into late summer with an Afternoon Paddle at Hammel Woods with Route 59 access Friday, Aug. 30.

Setting out on the water is a wonderful way to view nature up close while getting some exercise and letting the water drain the stress away.

“We offer many kinds of paddling programs for different ability levels and at a wide variety of locations,” said Cindy Cain, the forest preserve’s public information officer. “You can learn how to paddle at a Kayak Kollege program or cruise around a lake at sunrise or sunset.”

Kayak Kollege programs

Kayak Kollege programs will be sprinkled throughout the summer. The workshops feature American Canoe Association-certified instructors. They are for ages 12 and older (unless otherwise noted) and cost $35 per person. Online registration is available through the Event Calendar and is required for each program. Equipment is provided. Kayak Kollege programs will be offered as follows:

10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 4, at Monee Reservoir in Monee Township

4 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Whalon Lake in Naperville

10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 22, at the Lake Chaminwood Preserve in Channahon

10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 6, at Lake Chaminwood

4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Monee Reservoir (ages 10 or older)

6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Monee Reservoir

Recreational paddling programs

Additional recreational programs also will be offered. Previous kayaking experience is recommended or required in some cases for these noninstructional, recreational programs. Equipment is provided. The programs are for those 12 or older, and the programs cost $20 per person unless otherwise noted. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Additional program details and online registration are available on the Event Calendar. (July and August program registration will be posted to the calendar in the near future.)

Will County Forest Preserve, Isle a la Cache, museum, nature

Upcoming programs for the week of June 3

Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.

BYOB Bingo: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, Prairie Bluff, Crest Hill. Compete for prizes and share some laughs. Feel free to bring dinner or snacks and beverages, including beer or wine. Free, ages 21 and older.

Summer Kick-off Paddle: 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, June 7, Lake Chaminwood Preserve, Channahon. Kick off the summer with a paddling tour of the lake. Paddling experience is required. Ages 12 and older. $20 per person. Register by June 6.

Forest Therapy: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Join an interpretive naturalist for this simple Japanese method of being calm and quiet among the trees. Free, ages 14 and older. Register by June 6.

Where the Wildflowers Are: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, McKinley Woods – Frederick’s Grove, Channahon. Hike at a top spot to seek wildflowers. Hear stories of how these beauties got their names, their uses through time and other lore and legends. Free, ages 10 and older. Register by June 7.

Crochet for Wildlife: Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Hidden Lakes Trout Farm, Bolingbrook. Celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day by crocheting small nests that will be used in wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country. Materials included. Free, ages 16 and older.

Take It Outside Hike – Summer Stroll: Two 90-minute sessions at 10 a.m. and noon Sunday, June 9, Kankakee Sands Preserve, Custer Township. Connect with other 2024 Take It Outside Challenge participants on this 2.5-mile hike and collect some points, tips and tricks along the way. Free, all ages. Register by June 9.