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Des Plaines River Boating Safety

des plaines river

To stay cool in the summer, many take to the lakes and rivers. Near our offices in Arlington Heights, the Des Plaines River and the Cook County Forest Preserve offers boats many launch points. However, if you boat on the Des Plaines River, stay safe.

Recently, Baldur Kirsch Jr. lost his life after jumping into the water near Channahon. Family and friends say that Kirsch was an experienced and avid boater who knew the Des Plaines River inside and out. But this knowledge did not save him as he unfortunately lost his life.

Des Plaines River

Generally, people use canoes, kayaks, and non-gasoline powered watercraft on the river. Below are a list of potential launch points:

  • Plank Road Meadow Boat Launch – Ogden Ave, east of 1st Ave, Riverside, IL 60534 
  • Allison Woods – Milwaukee Ave & Winkleman Rd, Cook County, IL 60062
  • Columbia Woods – Willow Springs Rd & Corcoran Rd, Willow Springs, IL 60480
  • Dam No. 2 Woods – E Des Plaines River Rd, south of E Euclid Ave/W Lake Ave, Cook County, IL 60056
  • Irving Park Road Canoe Landing – Des Plaines River Rd, north of Irving Park Rd, Schiller Park, IL 60176
  • Maywood Grove – Des Plaines Ave, north of Lake St, Maywood, IL 60153
  • Northwestern Woods – Joseph Schwab Rd, south of Minor St, Des Plaines, IL 60016
  • Stony Ford Canoe Landing – Joliet Ave/43rd St, west of S Harlem Ave, Lyons, IL 60534

Boating Safety Tips and Tricks

The Cook County Forest Preserve offers ten safety tips:

  1. Take a safety water course for safety. They will also teach you tips for paddling.
  2. Wear your properly fitted life jacket at all times on the water.
  3. Understand cold water safety.
  4. Check high water conditions prior to launching.
  5. Check weather conditions and plan accordingly.
  6. Bring water and snacks for long days on the water.
  7. Have a first aid kit and cell phone in a dry bag.
  8. Leave your itinerary with someone and estimated time off the water.
  9. Have a safety check list.
  10. Know your limits.

Another important tip is to not boat while under the influence of alcohol. As you canoe or kayak this summer, keep these tips in mind to stay safe.

Injured While Boating?

If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with an insurance claim, Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer can help. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf.

Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 357-0403 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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