Paddle Board the Fox River in Illinois

During these cold gray February days, it’s important to look towards the future and get excited for brighter spring days. SJ Paddle Boards is a Midwest based company located in Geneva, Illinois, but we are also heavily influenced by years spent living in Chicago. In future blog posts we will profile the multiple SUP locations around Chicago and throughout the Midwest, but this post will focus on paddle boarding the Fox River in the Tri-Cities area. 

The Fox River is typically a fairly calm river but parts of the Fox have been dammed so you will want to research your trip before dropping your SJ Paddle Board in the water. Inexperienced paddlers will also want to monitor the currents and wind conditions to make sure they conditions match ability. 

  • Fabyan and 31 (Geneva): The Fabyan Forest Preserve offers a popular put in spot for SUP, kayaks, and canoes and there is a good sized parking lot located near the northeast corner of the Fabyan and 31 intersection. Once you put in you can either paddle a short trip south towards downtown Geneva or north towards Batavia. The put in can be pretty shallow and is good for people new to SUP who are getting familiar with paddle boarding.
  • Old Mill Park (Geneva): Ramp is located just north of State Street (route 38) behind Mill Race Cyclery ( The dam is just south of this ramp, so this ramp can only be used for trips towards in the north direction up the Fox River.
  • Boy Scout Island: Operating by St Charles Park District ( this is a full boat launch ramp and is actually located across the river from Pottawtomie Park launch (below). You will likely want to travel north on the Fox River to avoid the dammed area in Geneva.
  • Pottawatomie Park: This is a large park with many activities but, most importantly, it offers a put in spot for your paddle board needs. Similar to Boy Scout Island, you will likely want to travel north to avoid the dammed area in Geneva.
  • Batavia Riverwalk/Depot Museum: The depot museum provides a scenic backdrop and you can drop in here before taking a SUP tour around Depot Pond before heading north on the Fox River towards Geneva.   
  • Laurelwood Park: Operated by the Batavia Park District this park is located at 800 N River St. and the paddle board launch site is located adjacent to the running path.
  • Batavia Boat House: Located very close to downtown Batavia and adjacent to a bike path.