Paddle the Nippersink in NE Illinois?

Has anyone ever paddled the Nippersink in Northeastern Illinois? “Paddling Illinois” by Mike Svob notes that it’s narrow and winding, but from what I’ve seen in person and online it looks impassable. Is this a Spring-only creek? Any advice is very appreciated!


I paddled it in late summer a few years

– Last Updated: Oct-04-07 12:04 PM EST –

ago. It is moderately scenic but extremely shallow and I had to exit the boat many times to drag it.

I have no idea what the water level is now.

Here's a link to the various sections of the Nippersink and a map:

I don't read these things well but here is a link to a chart on levels and discharge rates for IL rivers. The Nippersink is listed:

Yes, very rain dependent
But it is currently passable and runnable (a rarity for the 'Nip at this point in the season). I last paddled it on June 24th, with the Spring Grove discharge rate at 132 cfs.; rate as of today is 160cfs. Hard to say what it will be a few days from now, but it does tend to drop quickly.

You can check out a video at , and click on Illinois paddles. Keep in in mind that the video was filmed in February and logjams shown are not typical at this late point in the season. Also another gauge site with more graphiccal data is:

happy paddlin

I’ve paddled it from Keystone launch to the fox.It’s a fun trip,you can take-out at multiple landings making your trips from a couple hours to all day.If you can launch at Keystone you can usually make it the rest of the way though you might have to dodge some rocks along the way.There is barb wire 1/2 a mile or so after pioneer landing to watch out for.A surprise near the fox was coming around a bend and having 8 cows in the creek to quietly slip by. You should try it . kevin