The brief variation: Janee Matteson had constantly enjoyed recreations plus the outside, but her hometown of Morris, Illinois, located along several bodies of water, had couple of options so you can get on the water in human-powered watercraft. Therefore she launched Kayak Morris, a company that gives kayak leases, two amounts of directed tours, and affordable coastline hiking. The experience organization also provides glampouts, which provide a more luxurious camping experience for those who are a new comer to the outside. Merely an hour or so from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the perfect location for an adventurous daytime time or a nature-inspired overnight getaway.


Growing upwards in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson enjoyed sports plus the in the open air, but she ended up being always amazed that her hometown, with three waterways running through it, lacked any opportunities for kayaking or utilizing some other human-powered watercraft.

Janee learned activities medication in school, even though she loved assisting individuals when she began in industry, functioning inside throughout the day rapidly became dreary and unchallenging. So, this season, she met with the idea to begin Kayak Morris: a business to offer canoe leases and guided tours.

“My hometown usually met with the nickname River City, however it ended up being always useful for pontoon boats and fishing boats,” she stated. “It really is a working river, so we have actually industrial barge website traffic aswell, but never ever any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed by using the launch of Kayak Morris. And after a few years of success, she purchased a tract of area and added wooded, beachfront campgrounds — excellent for an overnight getaway for daring partners.

Extraordinary Locations for Memorable Experiences

Kayak Morris is exclusively situated along three waterways: the Illinois River, the Mazon River, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

“The Mazon River is special because it’s the only waterway where in fact the state non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is found,” Janee stated. The lake has its own fossil bedrooms, which are strange due to their fast formation. Which means the beds preserved both hard and gentle cells, developing a distinct fossil kind.

The Mazon in addition does not enable energy or motorized motorboat visitors as it’s so shallow, rendering it an excellent place to kayak.

The I&M Canal, which is accessible from Kayak Morris website, is an important waterway as it launched when you look at the 1800s and had been the principal avenue for moving products ahead of the damming associated with the Illinois River. Few kayaking businesses are lucky enough to be located nearby the convergence of several different waterways.

The campsite is on a distinctive parcel of land; its a wooded beach, which will be an unexpected picture in Illinois. Partners into the Chicago place could be surprised to find that simply an hour out of the urban area — and also much less from some of the suburbs — is actually an enjoyable i’m all over this a peaceful beach that provides the chance to kayak through a number of rivers.

Accommodations for Exploration and Guided Tours

At Kayak Morris, you’ll hire a canoe to understand more about the surrounding location on your own — or with a special someone — or you can carry on a led concert tour. The business supplies two types of trips, depending on your own level of kayaking experience. One is the newbie tour, and that is a couple of hours long and perfect for whoever has never kayaked prior to.

More complex kayakers — or people who want an extended adventure — can decide among the many two premium trips, which finally around four hours. The Four Rivers journey requires kayakers along side Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, and the Illinois River with a stop for meal. The other advanced concert tour may be the Starved stone trip, which requires adventurous singles or partners on a tour starting within Starved stone county Park.

The tour supplies wonderful opinions of canyons and much more that can’t be viewed by climbing. Each tour is directed by a guide that is centered on both storytelling and your protection.

There are two main choices at Kayak Morris: solitary kayaks or combination kayaks that hold up to three folks. “The tandem kayaks are a lot more steady than a canoe; it really is nearly impossible to tip over a tandem canoe,” Janee stated.

As you move through the water, you will probably note local animals, such turtles bald eagles, fantastic bluish herons, great American pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and untamed turkeys, mentioned Janee.

Affordable Camping directly on the Beach

In addition to enjoyable about drinking water, Kayak Morris has also wooded beachfront campgrounds where you can pitch a tent and camp-out before or after your own canoing activities. No RV hiking is permitted, but you can park your vehicle extremely near the camping tents.

“the campgrounds tend to be well-liked by family members, partners, singles — anyone enthusiastic about outdoors,” Janee mentioned. “We’re not a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night kind of spot.”

Janee mentioned that, when she very first brought kayak rentals and informative trips to the area, demand for instantly accommodations used rapidly. “we had been dealing with many youthfulness teams, specially lookout groups, and so they planned to stay instantly,” she stated. “the sole location i possibly could recommend had been a state playground in the city you’d must park at and hike all your gear within 1 / 2 a mile. Countless teams failed to have to do that. So I purchased some secure right on the river, and correct close to another state playground.”

She purchased the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually turned it into a campground on top of the subsequent a couple of years. She find the story for its distance to many waterways and its own sandy, wooded coastline. “It gave groups a chance to remain instantly, and in addition it attracted consumers from a larger geographical region,” Janee stated. “they might not just kayak for the day, however they may possibly also remain overnight and would not need certainly to take a trip to anywhere they call house.”

Tent camp costs are only $8 per person, that makes it an inexpensive escape for partners. Showers can be obtained in the Morris Community pool just a mile out, and, any time you forget everything, shops are simply in the future.

If you’re looking to complete more than simply kayak and loosen up in the coastline, other activities in the area include geocaching, hiking, biking, and angling, Janee stated.

Most of the people who started to Kayak Morris are not residents, Janee said, however they are from the Chicagoland area. “We’re very easy to get at; men and women do not have to go to Wisconsin or Michigan for a little getaway. This might be like a staycation,” she mentioned.

Glampout occasions assist folks Ease Into Camping

Not many people are into tough backyard hiking, pitching tents, or generating fireside dinners themselves. That’s why Kayak Morris hosts unique 24-hour glampout — or attractive campout — activities as a fun and convenient alternative. “With glampouts, my personal objective is to obtain men and women outdoors whom usually would not get outside,” Janee said.

For glampout occasions, the Kayak Morris staff members sets up and requires all the way down tents for visitors, plus they provide asleep pillows to make the hotels more comfortable. In addition to group locations chairs for those to relax in, produces lumber, begins the campfires, and keeps them going.

Kayak Morris additionally acts a potluck supper and displays a film outside during glampouts, but you can also go out because of the campfires if you prefer to disconnect from technology. Each day, the employees acts breakfast with things like sausage, eggs, pancakes, good fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour led beginner kayak tour can be incorporated with a glampout package. Additionally sufficient time to hike, fish, browse, or maybe just flake out. Janee said the plan is ideal for an individual who doesnot want to camp alone, or a couple or household who wants to benefit from the in the open air in more convenience, letting them target rest and enjoyable without logistics.

Further on the horizon for Kayak Morris is actually beginning the next place to create even more offerings for outdoor-loving couples for the Midwest.