Everything you need to know about the Fox River in the Aurora Area of Illinois
Linked by the Fox River, the communities of the Aurora Area are beautiful river country. Here's a brief guide to where to put in, take out, and enjoy scenic stretches of the gorgeous Fox River. Enjoy more outdoor adventure cycling, running, or taking a leisurely stroll on Fox River Trails. In total, the entire length of the Fox River is just over 200 miles (325km)—in this guide, we'll focus on the 25 mile run contained within the Aurora Area communities of Aurora, Batavia, Montgomery, North Aurora, Oswego, and Yorkville.
Top to bottom guide of Fox River segments in the Aurora Area
Batavia to North Aurora 2.5 miles
This easy, tree-lined stretch of river offers abundant birdwatching, with a rookery containing dozens of nests, home to egrets and waterfowl, on an island overlooked by Red Oak Nature Center. Take out above the North Aurora dam at Riverfront Park or use the sandy portage on the west bank.
North Aurora to Aurora 3.5 miles
Paddle under bridges and explore plentiful small islands. Speakers facing the water entertain kayakers on concert nights at RiverEdge Park. Enjoy gastropub fare and artisan roasted coffee or craft beverages at Two Brothers Roundhouse.
Aurora to Oswego 6.5 miles
Diverse scenery includes an old trestle bridge. Portage at Montgomery and enjoy downtown dining. Disembark at Hudson Crossing Park and visit Oswego Brewing Co.
Oswego to Yorkville 6.3 miles
Shallow beach at Hudson Crossing Park allows for an easy put-in. Paddle past wildflower patches and Saw Wee Kee Park. Buoyed take-out available above Marge Cline Whitewater Course. Enjoy wrap-around views of the Fox River from the patio at Southbank Original Barbecue.
Whitewater Kayaking on the Fox River
Sport kayakers can practice their skills on the rapids at the Marge Cline Whitewater Course in Yorkville, Illinois. The 1,100 foot-long bypass chute was purpose-built to allow paddlers and tubers to continue their Fox River journey without having to portage around the Glen D. Palmer lowhead dam, and also provides one of the only consistent sources for Class I and II rapids in the Midwest. The drop of almost 6 feet between the top and bottom of the chute is perfect for shooting the rapids with speed, while conveniently located eddies let paddlers take a break and practice against distinct segments of the course. Paddlers who prefer to portage will find easy out-and-in access above the whitewater course, including a handicap-accessible kayak and canoe launch dock and a mobile boat cart for walking the length of the course.
We invited a group of travel writers to experience the Marge Cline Whitewater Course under the guidance of The Yak Shack along with the amenities provided by downtown Yorkville restaurants. Read Julie Ap of Open Wide The World's story about her first time conquering rapids on the Fox River at the EnjoyAurora.com blog.
Links to more information about the Fox River
Fabulous Fox Water Trail: Trail maps, itineraries, and safety information from a joint coalition of Illinois and Wisconsin stakeholders.
Fox Valley Park District: Host organization of the Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race, an annual paddling competition dating back over 60 years on the Fox River.
National Weather Service, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service: Measurement and forecast of the Fox River stage (height) and flow pressure reported daily.