The Best Spots For Water Fun In Naperville

The Best Spots For Water Fun In Naperville

May 14, 2022
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Warmer weather means it’s time to hit the water in Naperville, with lots of options to choose from: whether through the park district, forest preserves, special rental groups or even Naper Settlement.

Paddleboat Quarry

The Naperville Park District is opening its Paddleboat Quarry today. The quarry will be open for weekends during the month of May, with paddleboards, kayaks and of course paddleboats available to rent from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekday hours for rentals will kick in starting on Memorial Day. The quarry can be found along the Naperville Riverwalk near Rotary Hill and the Riverwalk Café. Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the rental hut next to the quarry. Fee information can be found on the Naperville Park District website.

More Kayak, Paddleboard Options

Kayak enthusiasts can also take to the water at Whalon Lake, located off Royce Road. Naperville Kayak is currently offering rentals of single, tandem and fishing kayaks from Friday to Sunday through August 14. They will then have availability Saturdays and Sundays from August 20 through October 2. A maximum of 30 rented kayaks are allowed on the lake at one time. Booking can be done onsite but Naperville Kayak encourages people to reserve online for their best chance at availability.

The Forest Preserve District of Will County also allows personal kayaks and canoes on Whalon Lake, with no launch pass required. There is also trailer parking and a boat launch at Whalon Lake for small fishing boats, with no fee or permit required. A full list of watercraft and boating regulations for the Will County preserves can be found on the forest preserve district’s website.

Naperville Kayak also offers kayak and paddleboard trips down the west branch of the DuPage River. Those adventures are for those who have had previous kayaking or paddleboard experience, and who meet age and weight requirements. Trip time is dependent on water flow, ranging from one and a half to two and a half hours. River trips are weather dependent, and only done when the river is safe to paddle on. They start at the Riverview Farmstead Preserve, at the corner of Book Road and Hassert Boulevard. Booking is done online.

Nearby Boating…And More Paddleboats!

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has some nearby on-the-water experiences as well. Canoes, kayaks and rowboats can all be rented at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville and Herrick Lake in Wheaton. Blackwell also offers paddleboat rentals.

Rentals at Blackwell are open weekends from now through Memorial Day, at which point they will become available daily through September 25. Herrick Lake rentals are available weekends only from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Certain private watercraft is allowed on Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve. Boats must be less than 20 feet long with a valid hull identification number. Only electric motors with state registration are allowed. A forest preserve permit is required. Inflatable watercraft must either be properly certified or have factory-made hardened floors. Stand-up paddleboarding is allowed if the user has a private watercraft permit. More details on qualifying watercraft can be found on the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County website.

The forest preserve has also added an ADA-accessible kayak and canoe launch at Silver Lake in Blackwell Forest Preserve, the first permanent one of its kind within the district.

Centennial Beach

Centennial Beach is set to open Memorial Day weekend, with the swimming season kicking off on Saturday, May 28. Offerings there include a sandy beach, slide, deep water and lap-swim area, zero-depth entry and picnic spots. Memberships are currently available for purchase online, and those bought before May 30 will be at a discounted rate. Also through May 30, a special “plus friends” option is available for purchase, which allows members to bring two additional guests on any given day.

The park district also runs several programs at the beach, like swim lessons, aquatic fitness classes, Paddleboard Yoga, Water Polo and springboard diving instruction. Returning this year are Special Needs Nights, which give families with those who have special needs a chance to enjoy some time in the water after normal operating hours. Those will be held the evenings of June 12 and 26, and July 17 and 24,

The beach is located at 500 W. Jackson Avenue.

Splash Pads

Also opening on Memorial Day weekend will be the Naperville Park District’s splash pads. There are two to choose from, with one at 95th Street Community Plaza, and the other at Wolf’s Crossing Community Park. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The park district has a status page to let the public know whether the splash pads have had to close due to weather or any other issue.

There’s also one more splash pad in Naperville, within Naper Settlement. It’s set in the Harvard Early Learning Playscape, which is designed for kids ages 2 through 7. The Settlement turns on the water features from May 15 through September 30 on days when the weather hits 70 degrees or higher. Use of the playscape and splash pad is included with a guest’s general museum admission.

Midday Spray Discontinued

With two splash pads and Centennial Beach now available again to residents, the Naperville Park District says it will no longer be offering the Midday Spray at Rotary Hill. The spray had been launched in 2020 as a way to provide some summer fun with the safety of social distancing.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

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