Calumet Area Water Trails

Water Trails in Calumet comprise a number of connected natural and man-made waterways, including both rivers and lakes. Calumet waterways offer a variety of experiences. Thorn Creek and the Upper Little Calumet River are shallow streams with wooded banks, perfect for beginners. The Cal-Sag Channel, Lower Little Calumet, and Calumet Rivers are deep, engineered channels with barge and powerboat traffic, appropriate for experts. Calumet also offers paddling on Wolf Lake and Powderhorn Lake.


The Cal-Sag Channel: The banks of this man-made canal are lined along much of its western third with large stone rip rap, making access either to or from the water difficult, especially while carrying a boat. For this reason, the west end of the publicly accessible water trail on this stretch of river currently ends (or begins) at the Worth Village Boat Ramp in Worth on 115th Street, two blocks west of Harlem Avenue. It is a little over two miles from Worth to Howe’s Landing boat launch (also called Alsip), north of 127th Street at Laramie Avenue, and another six miles to the access at Little Calumet Boat Launch. Between the confluence with the Little Calumet River and Worth Village Boat Ramp, concrete and steel vertical bulkhead walls, industrial traffic, jetskis, and powered boats make this stretch a place for expert paddlers.

Saganashkee Slough is a large lake along the Cal-Sag channel, within the Palos Preserves of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. It is a great place to see birds and other wildlife!

When paddling this river, keep in mind that although water quality has improved over the last several decades there are still bacteria and other pollution in these rivers. Remember to wash your hands before eating or touching anything that will go in your mouth, and to keep open wounds clean and dry.

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