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

The Quick Version: Janee Matteson had usually enjoyed sports and outdoors, but the woman hometown of Morris, Illinois, situated along a number of figures , had few options so you can get from water in human-powered watercraft. So she launched Kayak Morris, a business which provides canoe rentals, two quantities of directed trips, and inexpensive beach camping. The adventure company now offers glampouts, which provide a far more lavish camping knowledge if you are not used to the outdoors. Only an hour from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the best location for an adventurous daytime day or a nature-inspired over night holiday.


Raising upwards in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson liked sporting events while the outdoors, but she ended up being usually amazed that the woman hometown, that has three waterways running through it, lacked any possibilities for kayaking or utilizing different human-powered watercraft.

Janee examined sports medicine in school, although she liked helping people as soon as she started involved in the field, operating inside right through the day rapidly turned into dreary and unchallenging. Very, this season, she encountered the concept to start Kayak Morris: an organization to offer kayak leases and led trips.

“My personal home town constantly met with the nickname River City, nonetheless it ended up being usually utilized for pontoon boats and fishing boats,” she mentioned. “its a working river, therefore we have commercial barge site visitors besides, but never ever any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed that with the release of Kayak Morris. And after a few years of achievements, she bought an area of area and added wooded, beachfront campgrounds — ideal for an overnight getaway for adventurous couples.

Original Locations for Memorable Experiences

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

“The Mazon River is different since it is truly the only waterway the spot where the condition non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is located,” Janee said. The river has many traditional beds, which have been unusual with their rapid development. Which means the bedrooms preserved both difficult and smooth tissues, creating a distinct fossil form.

The Mazon also doesn’t enable power or motorized vessel traffic since it’s thus superficial, making it an excellent spot to kayak.

The I&M Canal, that is easily accessible from the Kayak Morris site, can an important waterway since it opened within the 1800s and ended up being the primary path for moving products ahead of the damming associated with the Illinois River. Couple of kayaking companies are fortunate enough becoming found close to the convergence of numerous different waterways.

The campground is on exclusive parcel of land; it is a wooded beach, and is an unexpected picture in Illinois. Lovers inside Chicago area is astonished to find that simply an hour or so away from the urban area — as well as much less from many of the suburbs — is actually a soothing spot-on a quiet beach that gives the chance to kayak through a few streams.

Leases for Exploration and Guided Tours

At Kayak Morris, you’ll hire a kayak to understand more about the nearby place all on your own — or with that special someone — you can also go on a guided trip. The firm supplies two types of tours, based your own degree of canoing experience. One is the newbie concert tour, and is couple of hours long and perfect for those people who have never kayaked before.

More advanced kayakers — or those people that wish an extended adventure — can choose one of the two premium trips, which last to four hours. The Four streams journey takes kayakers along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, while the Illinois River with an end for lunch. Additional advanced tour will be the Starved Rock Tour, which takes daring singles or couples on a tour starting within Starved Rock condition Park.

The concert tour provides wonderful views of canyons and more that can not be seen by walking. Each trip is directed by techniques that is focused on both storytelling and your safety.

There are 2 solutions at Kayak Morris: unmarried kayaks or combination kayaks that hold-up to three folks. “The tandem kayaks are way more secure than a canoe; it’s extremely difficult to point over a tandem kayak,” Janee said.

When you undertake the water, you’ll likely observe neighborhood animals, such turtles bald eagles, fantastic blue herons, fantastic American pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and untamed turkeys, stated Janee.

Affordable Camping close to the Beach

In inclusion to enjoyable regarding the h2o, Kayak Morris even offers wooded beachfront campgrounds where you could pitch a tent and camp out before or after your canoing activities. No RV camping is actually permitted, you could park your vehicle very near to the camping tents.

“our very own campsites tend to be popular with family members, partners, singles — anybody enthusiastic about out-of-doors,” Janee said. “We’re not a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night variety of place.”

Janee said that, whenever she initially brought kayak rentals and informative tours into the place, interest in overnight hotels implemented quickly. “We were employing a lot of young people groups, specifically scout teams, in addition they wanted to remain instantaneously,” she mentioned. “The only place i possibly could recommend had been a situation park in the city which you’d need certainly to park at and hike your entire equipment in about half a mile. A lot of groups did not would like to do that. Therefore I bought some land right on the lake, and right close to another state playground.”

She bought the land for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually turned it into a campsite during the after that 24 months. She chose the storyline because of its proximity to several waterways and its particular sandy, wooded coastline. “It gave teams a chance to stay instantaneously, and in addition it lured consumers from a larger geographic location,” Janee stated. “they might not just kayak during the day, nevertheless they may also stay over night and wouldn’t need certainly to take a trip back again to wherever they call house.”

Tent camp fees are just $8 per person, that makes it a reasonable escape for lovers. Showers are available from the Morris Community Swimming Pool just a mile away, and, if you forget something, shops are simply just in the future.

If you’re searching to complete more than just canoe and relax on the beach, alternative activities in the region feature geocaching, walking, biking, and angling, Janee said.

Most of the people just who arrived at Kayak Morris aren’t natives, Janee said, but are through the Chicagoland region. “We’re easy to make it to; individuals do not need to choose Wisconsin or Michigan to possess limited holiday. This will be like a staycation,” she said.

Glampout occasions assist People Ease towards Camping

Not most people are into tough outdoor camping, pitching camping tents, or creating fireside dinners by themselves. For this reason Kayak Morris has distinctive 24-hour glampout — or attractive campout — activities as a fun and convenient alternative. “With glampouts, my objective is to find people outside whom if not wouldn’t go outdoors,” Janee said.

For glampout events, the Kayak Morris employees sets up and requires down camping tents for visitors, and additionally they offer sleeping pillows to make the rooms more content. And also the staff locations chairs for people to unwind in, brings in lumber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay going.

Kayak Morris additionally serves a potluck supper and displays a motion picture exterior during glampouts, you could also go out by campfires if you prefer to unplug from innovation. Each morning, the employees serves morning meal with stuff like sausage, eggs, pancakes, fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour led newbie kayak trip can included with a glampout bundle. Addititionally there is sufficient time to hike, seafood, read, or simply chill out. Janee stated the package is perfect for a single individual would youn’t want to camp alone, or a couple of or household who wants to benefit from the in the open air in more ease, letting them pay attention to relaxation and fun versus logistics.

Next on the horizon for Kayak Morris is actually opening an additional place to carry even more offerings for outdoor-loving lovers in Midwest.