The Short variation: Janee Matteson had always liked sporting events additionally the out-of-doors, but the woman hometown of Morris, Illinois, situated along several figures , had few possibilities so you can get from the water in human-powered watercraft. Therefore she founded Kayak Morris, a small business that provides kayak rentals, two quantities of guided tours, and affordable coastline camping. The action business offers glampouts, which provide an even more lavish hiking knowledge for those who are new to the outdoors. Only an hour or so from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the best place for an adventurous daytime date or a nature-inspired over night holiday.


Raising up in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson adored sporting events therefore the in the open air, but she ended up being always astonished that her home town, with three waterways running all the way through it, lacked any possibilities for kayaking or utilizing some other human-powered watercraft.

Janee learned recreations medicine in school, although she liked assisting men and women when she started in industry, working inside day long rapidly turned into dreary and unchallenging. Therefore, this year, she met with the idea to start out Kayak Morris: A company to offer kayak rentals and guided trips.

“My personal home town usually met with the nickname River City, it was usually useful for pontoon boats and fishing boats for sale,” she stated. “It is a functional river, therefore we have actually commercial barge traffic nicely, 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 area and included wooded, beachfront campsites — ideal for an overnight getaway for daring lovers.

Original stores for Memorable Experiences

Kayak Morris is actually uniquely situated along three waterways: the Illinois River, the Mazon River, as well as the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

“The Mazon River is special because it’s the only real waterway where in fact the state non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is available,” Janee mentioned. The lake has many traditional bedrooms, which are strange for fast development. Meaning the bedrooms preserved both difficult and soft cells, forming a distinct traditional form.

The Mazon also does not allow energy or motorized motorboat website traffic since it’s thus superficial, rendering it a fantastic location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, in fact it is available from the Kayak Morris site, can also be an important waterway as it unsealed in 1800s and ended up being the main avenue for carrying goods prior to the damming in the Illinois River. Few canoing companies are fortunate enough to get located near the convergence of several various waterways.

The campsite can on an original plot of land; it really is a wooded beach, which can be surprise look in Illinois. Lovers from inside the Chicago region might surprised to locate that just an hour or so away from the urban area — plus less from a number of the suburbs — is a relaxing i’m all over this a peaceful coastline that gives the opportunity to kayak through a number of streams.

Accommodations for Exploration and led Tours

At Kayak Morris, it is possible to rent out a canoe to understand more about the encompassing region on your own — or with a special someone — you can also go on a led concert tour. The organization supplies 2 kinds of trips, based your own level of canoing experience. One is the newbie tour, which can be couple of hours long and perfect for people who have never ever kayaked before.

Heightened kayakers — or individuals who want a prolonged adventure — can decide one of many two premium trips, which final doing four-hours. The Four Rivers trip requires kayakers along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, together with Illinois River with an end for lunch. Another advanced trip could be the Starved Rock journey, which requires adventurous singles or couples on a trip beginning from the Starved Rock State Park.

The concert tour provides amazing opinions of canyons and much more that cannot be viewed by climbing. Each tour is actually led by techniques that is concentrated on both storytelling and your security.

There are 2 options at Kayak Morris: single kayaks or tandem kayaks that last to three men and women. “The combination kayaks tend to be way more secure than a canoe; it’s nearly impossible to point over a tandem kayak,” Janee mentioned.

When you undertake water, you will probably note regional animals, such as for example turtles bald eagles, fantastic bluish herons, great American pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and crazy turkeys, said Janee.

Affordable hiking Right on the Beach

In inclusion to fun throughout the liquid, Kayak Morris also has wooded beachfront campsites where you are able to pitch a tent and camp out before or after your kayaking activities. No RV camping is enabled, but you can park your car or truck very close to the camping tents.

“Our campgrounds are favored by families, lovers, singles — anybody thinking about outside,” Janee said. “we aren’t a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night variety of location.”

Janee asserted that, whenever she initial brought kayak rentals and educational trips for the place, need for over night hotels followed quickly. “We were working with many youthfulness groups, particularly lookout teams, and desired to stay overnight,” she said. “The actual only real spot i possibly could recommend was a situation playground in the city which you’d must park at and hike your entire equipment in approximately 1 / 2 a mile. Lots of groups don’t have to do that. Therefore I ordered some area directly on the river, and proper alongside another condition park.”

She purchased the area for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually switched it into a campground on top of the subsequent two years. She find the land for the distance to many waterways and its particular exotic, wooded coastline. “It gave teams the opportunity to remain instantly, and in addition it attracted consumers from a more substantial geographic place,” Janee mentioned. “they may besides kayak during the day, even so they may possibly also stay overnight and won’t need take a trip returning to wherever they call house.”

Tent camp costs are just $8 per xxx, which makes it an inexpensive escape for couples. Baths can be found on Morris Community pool just a mile out, and, if you forget everything, shops are simply down the road.

If you’re looking to complete more than just canoe and chill out regarding coastline, other activities in the area include geocaching, walking, biking, and fishing, Janee said.

Most of the people exactly who started to Kayak Morris aren’t local hook ups, Janee said, but they are from the Chicagoland area. “we are very easy to get at; people don’t need to head to Wisconsin or Michigan to possess a small getaway. This really is like a staycation,” she said.

Glampout Activities assist folks Ease towards Camping

Not everyone is into tough backyard hiking, pitching camping tents, or making fireside dishes on their own. This is why Kayak Morris hosts distinctive 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — occasions as a fun and convenient choice. “With glampouts, my mission is to obtain individuals in the open air exactly who otherwise won’t get outside,” Janee mentioned.

For glampout occasions, the Kayak Morris personnel throws up-and takes straight down camping tents for friends, and so they supply sleeping pillows to help make the accommodations more content. In addition to staff places seats for folks to relax in, produces lumber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay going.

Kayak Morris additionally acts a potluck meal and screens a movie exterior during glampouts, but you can also hang out because of the campfires if you want to unplug from technology. In the morning, the staff acts morning meal with items like sausage, eggs, pancakes, fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour guided novice canoe tour normally incorporated with a glampout plan. Additionally the required time to hike, seafood, study, or maybe just loosen up. Janee stated the plan is perfect for a single person who willnot want to camp alone, or a couple or household who would like to enjoy the outdoors in more ease, allowing them to focus on rest and fun instead of strategies.

Next beingshown to people there for Kayak Morris is opening a moment location to bring much more offerings for outdoor-loving lovers within the Midwest.