Private Boating on Forest Preserve Lakes
You can use your own watercraft on four forest preserve lakes.
But you need to have the following:
- A daily or annual private-boating permit
- The right kind of boat: nongasoline-powered boats, canoes, kayaks, or multichambered inflatables with factory-installed hardened floors and transoms less than 20 feet long (sailboats on Silver Lake, too)
- The proper personal flotation devices
- An Illinois water usage stamp or state registration
- You can buy Illinois water usage stamps at sporting goods stores or at Visitor Services at 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. For details on all state boating requirements, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov/boating.
Read the District’s private boating rules and regulations.
Permits and Fees
You can purchase daily private-boating permits with cash at lockboxes at each launch site and with cash or credit card at the Blackwell boat-rental building, when open (see dates under Renting above).
Annual permits are also available at the Blackwell boat-rental building and online. For other options, download the 2017 Private Boating Permit application with instructions, or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
|DuPage resident||$35 per year or $7 per day|
|Nonresident||$45 per year or $9 per day|
DuPage resident $35 per year or $7 per day
Private Boating on DuPage Rivers
If you’re boating on either branch of the DuPage River or Salt Creek, you can enter at any practical forest preserve location except Oak Meadows. You need a water usage stamp or state registration but don’t need a Forest Preserve District permit.
The District offers easy access to the West Branch DuPage River at Blackwell, Warrenville Grove and McDowell Grove and to Salt Creek at Salt Creek Park, Cricket Creek, Salt Creek Greenway at Hunter Road (take-out only), and Fullersburg Woods near the Graue Mill parking lot.
About Zebra Mussels
The District has found zebra mussels in four lakes at three preserves: Deep Quarry and Bass lakes at West Branch, Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake, and Eagle Lake at Hidden Lake. You can help stop the spread of this nonnative, invasive species no matter where you boat or fish.
- Remove all plants, animals and mud from boats, equipment and trailers.
- Drain all water from your boat and gear.
- Dry everything thoroughly with a towel.
- Empty all bait buckets in garbage cans or dumpsters before leaving the lake. (You can’t see juvenile zebra mussels with the naked eye.)
- Click here to learn more.