Information Page

Remember our trips are self guided. You have to be able to take care of yourself on the river. Come expecting fun and relaxation, particularly on our easier trips, but be prepared to do some work.  People not prepared for spills or not capable of moderate physical exertion should not undertake this activity. Of course, you'll have to be able to paddle the canoe down the river. Because canoeing can be dangerous, all adults must sign our "Renter's Acceptance of Responsibility, and Release of Liability" form assuming responsibility for themselves, all minors in their group, and all property taken on the trip, both rented and private.  

Vermilion River Information

River Information

River water levels are given as level (ft) above zero,  with 3 foot or below being a non-canoe able situations.  At zero the water level is to low to have and enjoyable trip. At 3 foot level several pull outs of 20 yard stretches will be encountered between canoe able waters.

Gauge levels are data taken from the US Geological water surveys.  

Best Canoeing / kayaking water levels at Lowell are 5 feet or more above Zero to canoe through the area, do to river conditions

Canoe the Vermilion reserves the right to cancel any trip due to river conditions

All Trips on the Vermilion are in OK shape for canoeing.    

River Conditions Monday Aug 1, 2016 9 am

Gauge Location  Gauge Level Water level   Water Temperature  
Vermilion River at Leonore 4 ft 4 ft 70
Vermilion River at Lowell   4 ft 70



The things we'll tell you about:
A.  The importance of wearing your life jacket and how to size it properly.
B.  How to use the basic strokes necessary to get you down the river.
C.  How to lower your center of gravity by kneeling in your boat.
D.  How to "swim" a rapid should you turn over. If you can't swim or are scared of the water do not go Canoeing.  Most of our trips are in shallow water and a person can stand up with out much trouble.  Don't dive into the water! The river is extremely shallow.
E. How to spot submerged items in water and how to pick the best route.
F. THAT ALCOHOL AND DRUGS DON'T MIX WITH WATER SPORTS!!! Don't come with the idea that this is an activity for drinking. You can be subject to a DUI, on the water, in a canoe, in the state of Illinois. 
G.  To guard against sunburn, particularly on thighs and shoulders. Use sunblock!
H.  Don't go barefoot in the river; rocks are sharp! Bring a ratty pair of tennis shoes.
I. Have plenty of fluids, cold in hot weather and warm in cold. You may wish to bring a snack.   Remember to take out more trash than you bring in .  
J. Be sure to secure all equipment in your boat eyeglasses, sunglasses on a strap around your neck, and leave your car keys hidden at your vehicle
K. In cooler weather, how to avoid hypothermia and treat it. If you're planning a cold or wet weather trip, bring wool or polypropylene clothing, rain gear, and warm drinks. Hypothermia can set in very easily if the combined air and water temperature is below 120 degrees.  Add the air temperature to the water temperature and if it is below the 120 degree mark you will need to have proper clothing for the trip

 American Whitewater Affiliation Scale of River Difficulty

Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.

Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong Eskimo roll is highly recommended.

Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable Eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival.

Class VI: Extreme. One grade more difficult than Class V. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability, and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be un-runnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run.


| Home | Trips and Rates | Links