Kayak Morris Offers Kayaking, Hiking, and Glamping Adventures for Illinois Couples

The Short Version: Janee Matteson had usually loved activities and also the outside, but the woman home town of Morris, Illinois, positioned along a few figures of water, had couple of options so you can get from the water in human-powered watercraft. Very she founded Kayak Morris, a company which provides canoe leases, two amounts of directed tours, and affordable beach camping. The adventure business also offers glampouts, which give a more lavish camping experience for those who are fresh to the outdoors. Only an hour or so from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the perfect location for an adventurous daytime time or a nature-inspired overnight getaway.


Growing up in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson adored activities in addition to outdoors, but she had been always astonished that her hometown, which has three waterways running all the way through it, lacked any opportunities for kayaking or utilizing various other human-powered watercraft.

Janee studied sports medicine in school, and while she enjoyed assisting men and women as soon as she started employed in industry, functioning inside for hours quickly became dreary and unchallenging. So, this season, she met with the concept to start Kayak Morris: an organization to offer canoe rentals and guided trips.

« My home town usually met with the nickname River City, however it was actually always useful for pontoon ships and fishing boats for sale, » she mentioned. « It is an operating river, therefore we have actually commercial barge website traffic at the same time, but never ever any human-powered watercraft. »

She changed that with the launch of Kayak Morris. And over time of achievements, she purchased a tract of secure and added wooded, beachfront campsites — ideal for an overnight getaway for adventurous lovers.

Original Locations for Memorable Experiences

Kayak Morris is uniquely positioned along three waterways: the Illinois River, the Mazon River, in addition to Illinois and Michigan Canal.

« The Mazon River is different because it’s truly the only waterway where the condition non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is found, » Janee mentioned. The lake has its own traditional bedrooms, that are uncommon with their quick development. That implies the beds preserved both tough and comfortable areas, forming a definite traditional type.

The Mazon also does not allow energy or motorized motorboat visitors since it’s thus low, which makes it an outstanding location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, in fact it is accessible from the Kayak Morris website, can also be an important waterway because it launched within the 1800s and ended up being the principal opportunity for transporting items ahead of the damming on the Illinois River. Few kayaking businesses are lucky enough as located around the convergence of several different waterways.

The campground normally on an original plot of land; it is a wooded coastline, basically an urgent view in Illinois. Lovers inside Chicago location might surprised to get that just an hour or so out of the area — and also less from some of the suburbs — is an enjoyable i’m all over this a peaceful coastline that provides the opportunity to kayak through a number of rivers.

Rentals for Exploration and Guided Tours

At Kayak Morris, you can rent out a kayak to explore the surrounding place independently — or with someone special — or you can continue a led tour. The company provides two types of tours, dependent on your amount of kayaking knowledge. You’re the beginner tour, and is a couple of hours very long and well suited for all those who have never ever kayaked before.

Heightened kayakers — or those who wish a prolonged adventure — can pick one of several two advanced trips, which final up to four hours. The Four streams Tour requires kayakers across the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, while the Illinois River with a stop for lunch. The other premium trip is the Starved Rock Tour, which requires daring singles or couples on a tour beginning at the Starved stone county Park.

The concert tour provides wonderful views of canyons and much more that can not be seen by hiking. Each concert tour is directed by a guide that is dedicated to both storytelling along with your safety.

There are 2 choices at Kayak Morris: single kayaks or tandem kayaks that last to three people. « The combination kayaks tend to be much more steady than a canoe; it’s almost impossible to advice over a tandem kayak, » Janee mentioned.

As you move through the water, you will likely observe neighborhood creatures, such as for example turtles bald eagles, fantastic bluish herons, fantastic United states pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and untamed turkeys, stated Janee.

Affordable Camping Right on the Beach

In addition to enjoyable in the h2o, Kayak Morris comes with wooded beachfront campsites where you can pitch a tent and camp out before or after your kayaking escapades. No RV hiking is permitted, you could park your vehicle extremely near to the camping tents.

« the campsites are favored by family members, couples, singles — anybody interested in out-of-doors, » Janee said. « we aren’t a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night type place. »

Janee asserted that, when she initial brought kayak leases and academic trips with the region, need for overnight hotels observed quickly. « we had been employing some young people teams, especially lookout teams, in addition they wanted to stay overnight, » she said. « truly the only place I could advise had been a situation park in town which you’d need park at and hike any equipment within one half a mile. Most groups did not would like to do that. Therefore I bought some area directly on the river, and proper near to another state playground. »

She bought the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and slowly turned it into a campground across after that 2 years. She chose the story for its distance a number of waterways and its particular exotic, wooded coastline. « It provided teams to be able to remain immediately, plus it attracted clients from a larger geographical location, » Janee stated. « they might not simply kayak during the day, but they may possibly also stay over night and wouldn’t need travel back to wherever they call residence. »

Tent camp costs are merely $8 per sex, that makes it an affordable getaway for lovers. Baths are available during the Morris Community children’s pool just a mile out, and, if you forget everything, stores are just down the road.

If you’re looking to do more than simply canoe and flake out throughout the coastline, other pursuits in the area include geocaching, walking, biking, and fishing, Janee mentioned.

A lot of people just who visited Kayak Morris aren’t residents, Janee stated, however they are through the Chicagoland place. « We’re very easy to get to; individuals do not need to choose Wisconsin or Michigan to own a small getaway. That is like a staycation, » she said.

Glampout occasions assist men and women Ease Into Camping

Not everybody is into durable outside hiking, pitching tents, or producing fireside meals themselves. For this reason Kayak Morris has special 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — activities as a great and convenient choice. « With glampouts, my personal mission is to obtain men and women in the open air just who normally would not go outside, » Janee stated.

For glampout events, the Kayak Morris team places up-and requires all the way down camping tents for guests, as well as provide resting pillows to help make the rooms much more comfortable. And also the staff places seats for those to relax in, brings in timber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay going.

Kayak Morris also acts a potluck supper and displays a movie outside during glampouts, but you can in addition spend time by campfires if you prefer to unplug from technology. Each morning, the staff serves breakfast with stuff like sausage, eggs, pancakes, good fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour led newbie kayak concert tour can also be included with a glampout bundle. There’s also lots of time to hike, seafood, read, or simply unwind. Janee said the bundle is perfect for a single individual who doesn’t want to camp by yourself, or one or two or household who would like to enjoy the out-of-doors in more ease, allowing them to target pleasure and fun instead logistics.

Further coming for Kayak Morris is opening an additional location to carry even more offerings for outdoor-loving partners in the Midwest.