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

The Quick Version: Janee Matteson had always loved sporting events and also the out-of-doors, but the woman hometown of Morris, Illinois, positioned along a number of bodies of water, had few possibilities getting from the water in human-powered watercraft. Thus she established Kayak Morris, a small business that offers canoe accommodations, two amounts of guided trips, and inexpensive beach hiking. The experience company has the benefit of glampouts, which provide an even more luxurious hiking experience for those who are new to the outside. Just an hour or so from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the best location for an adventurous daytime date or a nature-inspired over night holiday.


Raising right up in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson cherished sports plus the outside, but she ended up being usually astonished that the woman home town, with three waterways running all the way through it, lacked any opportunities for kayaking or utilizing some other human-powered watercraft.

Janee studied recreations medicine in college, and even though she enjoyed helping people as soon as she began employed in the field, working inside all day long easily became dreary and unchallenging. Thus, in 2010, she encountered the concept to start out Kayak Morris: a business enterprise to provide kayak accommodations and led trips.

“My personal hometown always met with the nickname River City, nonetheless it had been always employed for pontoon boats and fishing boats,” she said. “It really is an operating lake, so we have commercial barge traffic besides, but never ever any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed that with the release of Kayak Morris. And over time of achievements, she bought a system of secure and included wooded, beachfront campgrounds — ideal for an overnight getaway for daring partners.

Original stores for Memorable Experiences

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

“The Mazon River is unique since it is really the only waterway where state non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is found,” Janee mentioned. The lake has many traditional beds, that are uncommon for fast formation. It means the bedrooms preserved both hard and gentle areas, developing a definite traditional kind.

The Mazon in addition doesn’t allow energy or motorized watercraft traffic as it’s therefore superficial, rendering it a great location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, in fact it is obtainable from the Kayak Morris website, is a significant waterway since it started into the 1800s and was the principal avenue for carrying goods prior to the damming of Illinois River. Couple of kayaking businesses are fortunate to be located close to the convergence of many different waterways.

The campground normally on a distinctive block of land; it is a wooded beach, basically surprise look in Illinois. Lovers into the Chicago region are astonished to locate that simply one hour out of the city — plus less from many suburbs — is actually a soothing i’m all over this a peaceful beach that offers the chance to kayak through a few rivers.

Accommodations for Exploration and led Tours

At Kayak Morris, you can rent out a canoe to understand more about the encompassing place on your own — or with that special someone — or you can go on a led tour. The business supplies two types of tours, according to the amount of kayaking knowledge. One is the newbie tour, in fact it is couple of hours very long and well suited for those individuals who have never ever kayaked before.

Heightened kayakers — or people who wish a long adventure — can pick one of many two premium tours, which final around four hours. The Four Rivers trip takes kayakers over the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, and the Illinois River with a stop for lunch. The other advanced concert tour is the Starved Rock journey, which takes daring singles or partners on a tour beginning on Starved Rock county Park.

The trip supplies amazing opinions of canyons and much more that cannot be observed by climbing. Each trip is actually led by a guide that is focused on both storytelling and your security.

There’s two solutions at Kayak Morris: solitary kayaks or combination kayaks that last to 3 men and women. “The combination kayaks tend to be far more stable than a canoe; its nearly impossible to trick over a tandem canoe,” Janee mentioned.

Whenever undertake the water, you will likely note regional creatures, such as turtles bald eagles, great bluish herons, great American pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and untamed turkeys, said Janee.

Affordable Outdoor camping close to the Beach

In inclusion to fun from the water, Kayak Morris likewise has wooded beachfront campsites where you can pitch a tent and camp-out before or after the canoing activities. No RV camping is permitted, but you can park the car very near to the tents.

“our very own campsites tend to be popular with people, lovers, singles — anyone contemplating outdoors,” Janee said. “We’re not a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night particular location.”

Janee said that, whenever she first brought canoe accommodations and academic tours with the area, demand for overnight hotels followed easily. “we had been using plenty of young people teams, especially lookout groups, and additionally they wished to stay instantaneously,” she said. “The actual only real spot I could suggest ended up being a state park in town that you’d need park at and hike all your equipment within one half a mile. A lot of groups didn’t want to do that. Thus I bought some area right on the river, and proper close to another condition playground.”

She purchased the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually switched it into a campsite over the next 24 months. She find the story for its proximity to several waterways and its particular exotic, wooded beach. “It gave groups the opportunity to remain in a single day, and in addition it lured consumers from a larger geographic place,” Janee mentioned. “They could not merely kayak during the day, even so they could also remain over night and wouldn’t need to take a trip returning to anywhere they name home.”

Tent camp fees are merely $8 per adult, which makes it an inexpensive getaway for partners. Baths can be obtained at the Morris Community pool just a mile out, and, if you forget about anything, stores basically down the road.

If you’re searching doing more than just kayak and flake out in the beach, other pursuits in your neighborhood feature geocaching, hiking, cycling, and fishing, Janee stated.

Most of the people exactly who arrived at Kayak Morris are not natives, Janee said, however they are through the Chicagoland place. “We’re simple to reach; individuals don’t have to visit Wisconsin or Michigan getting a tiny holiday. This will be like a staycation,” she said.

Glampout Events Help men and women Ease Into Camping

Not everybody is into durable outside hiking, pitching camping tents, or producing fireside dishes by themselves. That is why Kayak Morris has special 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — events as an enjoyable and convenient choice. “With glampouts, my personal mission is to find people in the open air exactly who otherwise won’t get outdoors,” Janee mentioned.

For glampout activities, the Kayak Morris personnel throws up-and requires all the way down tents for friends, and they offer sleeping cushions to make the hotels much more comfortable. Additionally the group locations seats for individuals to unwind in, brings in timber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay heading.

Kayak Morris in addition serves a potluck meal and screens a film exterior during glampouts, you could also hang out by campfires if you prefer to unplug from technologies. In the morning, the employees acts morning meal with stuff like sausage, eggs, pancakes, good fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour guided beginner canoe trip is also included with a glampout plan. There’s also plenty of time to hike, seafood, read, or just unwind. Janee stated the bundle is fantastic for a single person who willn’t want to camp alone, or a couple of or family members who wants to take pleasure in the outdoors in more convenience, allowing them to target leisure and enjoyable instead logistics.

Next coming for Kayak Morris is actually beginning a moment location to bring much more offerings for outdoor-loving lovers when you look at the Midwest.

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