The Short type: Janee Matteson had constantly liked sports and out-of-doors, but the woman home town of Morris, Illinois, found along several figures of water, had few possibilities getting from water in human-powered watercraft. Thus she founded Kayak Morris, a small business that gives kayak rentals, two degrees of guided tours, and affordable coastline camping. The experience organization has the benefit of glampouts, which provide a far more luxurious hiking knowledge for those who are new to the outdoors. Just one hour from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the best location for an adventurous daytime go out or a nature-inspired overnight getaway.


Growing upwards in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson adored activities additionally the outdoors, but she was usually amazed that her hometown, with three waterways running all the way through it, lacked any opportunities for kayaking or utilizing other human-powered watercraft.

Janee studied sports medicine in university, and even though she liked helping folks as soon as she started in the field, functioning inside day long easily turned into dreary and unchallenging. Very, in 2010, she encountered the concept to start out Kayak Morris: an organization to supply kayak accommodations and guided tours.

“My hometown always encountered the nickname River City, nevertheless ended up being always employed for pontoon boats and fishing boats for sale,” she stated. “It’s a functional lake, therefore we have industrial barge website traffic besides, but never ever any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed that with the launch of Kayak Morris. And in the long run of achievements, she bought a system of area and included wooded, beachfront campsites — excellent for an overnight getaway for daring lovers.

Original Locations for Memorable Experiences

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

“The Mazon River is unique since it is the only waterway in which the condition fossil — the tullimonstrum — is available,” Janee mentioned. The river has many fossil bedrooms, which have been strange because of their rapid formation. Which means the beds preserved both hard and soft tissues, forming a definite fossil form.

The Mazon in addition doesn’t allow power or motorized vessel visitors since it’s therefore low, that makes it an excellent location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, and is easily accessible from the Kayak Morris site, can a substantial waterway as it started into the 1800s and ended up being the principal avenue for moving goods prior to the damming on the Illinois River. Few kayaking companies are lucky enough to be located near the convergence of numerous various waterways.

The campsite can also be on a distinctive parcel of land; it’s a wooded beach, that’s an urgent view in Illinois. Partners inside the Chicago region can be surprised to locate that just an hour or so from the town — plus less from a few of the suburbs — is actually a relaxing spot-on a peaceful beach that offers the ability to kayak through a few streams.

Rentals for Exploration and Guided Tours

At Kayak Morris, you’ll lease a kayak to understand more about the encompassing area alone — or with someone special — you can also go on a led tour. The company provides 2 kinds of tours, based on your own degree of canoing knowledge. You’re the beginner tour, and that’s couple of hours long and perfect for whoever has never ever kayaked before.

More advanced kayakers — or those that want a prolonged adventure — can decide one of the two premium trips, which final doing four-hours. The Four Rivers trip takes kayakers along side Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, additionally the Illinois River with a stop for meal. One other advanced trip may be the Starved Rock trip, which takes daring meet single womens or lovers on a trip starting at the Starved stone condition Park.

The tour supplies wonderful opinions of canyons and more that can’t be seen by hiking. Each tour is actually led by a guide who’s centered on both storytelling along with your safety.

There are two possibilities at Kayak Morris: solitary kayaks or tandem kayaks that last to three men and women. “The tandem kayaks are way more steady than a canoe; it is nearly impossible to tip over a tandem kayak,” Janee said.

Because move through the water, you will probably observe regional animals, including turtles bald eagles, great blue herons, fantastic US pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and crazy turkeys, mentioned Janee.

Inexpensive Outdoor camping directly on the Beach

In addition to fun on the drinking water, Kayak Morris has also wooded beachfront campsites where you can pitch a tent and camp-out before or after the canoing adventures. No RV camping is actually allowed, but you can park your car or truck extremely near the tents.

“our very own campsites tend to be well-liked by individuals, couples, singles — anybody interested in in the open air,” Janee stated. “we aren’t a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night variety of location.”

Janee asserted that, whenever she initially delivered canoe accommodations and informative tours to your location, need for instantly accommodations adopted easily. “we had been working together with most youth groups, especially lookout groups, and wanted to remain overnight,” she stated. “really the only location i really could advise ended up being a situation playground around that you’d need to park at and hike all of your gear within half a mile. Lots of teams failed to have to do that. Therefore I bought some land directly on the river, and correct alongside another state playground.”

She purchased the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and slowly turned it into a campsite around next couple of years. She chose the story because of its proximity a number of waterways and its sandy, wooded beach. “It offered groups the opportunity to stay instantaneously, and it also attracted customers from a larger geographic location,” Janee mentioned. “they may not simply kayak throughout the day, even so they may possibly also stay overnight and wouldn’t must take a trip back into anywhere they call home.”

Tent camp charges are only $8 per adult, which makes it an easily affordable getaway for couples. Baths can be obtained during the Morris Community Swimming Pool just a mile away, and, should you forget such a thing, shops are simply just in the future.

If you’re searching to do more than just canoe and relax on the coastline, alternative activities in the area consist of geocaching, walking, cycling, and fishing, Janee mentioned.

The majority of people which visited Kayak Morris are not residents, Janee mentioned, but they are from the Chicagoland location. “we are so easy to arrive at; individuals don’t need to head to Wisconsin or Michigan to own a little holiday. It is like a staycation,” she mentioned.

Glampout Activities assist People Ease Into Camping

Not many people are into durable outside camping, putting up tents, or producing fireside dinners on their own. This is exactly why Kayak Morris hosts distinctive 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — events as a fun and convenient alternative. “With glampouts, my personal goal is to get individuals out-of-doors exactly who if not won’t go outside,” Janee said.

For glampout events, the Kayak Morris team leaves up-and takes all the way down camping tents for friends, as well as offer asleep pillows to help make the accommodations more comfortable. Plus the group spots chairs for people to relax in, produces timber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay heading.

Kayak Morris in addition acts a potluck supper and displays a motion picture outside during glampouts, but you can also spend time by campfires if you like to unplug from innovation. In the morning, the staff serves break fast with items like sausage, eggs, pancakes, fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour guided novice kayak tour can be incorporated with a glampout package. There is also lots of time to hike, fish, read, or loosen up. Janee stated the bundle is great for a single person whonot want to camp alone, or one or two or family members who wants to enjoy the in the open air much more convenience, letting them pay attention to rest and enjoyable instead logistics.

Further coming for Kayak Morris is actually beginning a moment place to carry further choices for outdoor-loving partners for the Midwest.