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

The Quick Version: Janee Matteson had always adored sports in addition to in the open air, but the woman hometown of Morris, Illinois, found along several bodies , had few opportunities for finding on the water in human-powered watercraft. Very she launched Kayak Morris, a company that offers canoe leases, two levels of guided trips, and inexpensive coastline camping. The action organization also provides glampouts, which offer a very luxurious camping experience if you are fresh to the outdoors. Merely an hour or so from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the ideal location for an adventurous daytime go out or a nature-inspired instantly getaway.


Growing upwards in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson cherished sports while the in the open air, but she was actually always surprised that her home town, with three waterways running right through it, lacked any opportunities for kayaking or utilizing additional human-powered watercraft.

Janee studied sports medication in school, and even though she liked helping folks once she began in industry, operating inside all day long easily turned into dreary and unchallenging. So, this year, she had the idea to start Kayak Morris: an organization to offer canoe leases and led trips.

“My hometown usually had the nickname River City, nevertheless was actually always useful pontoon ships and fishing boats,” she stated. “It is a working river, therefore we have industrial barge website traffic as well, but never any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed by using the release of Kayak Morris. And after a few years of success, she purchased a tract of secure and included wooded, beachfront campgrounds — ideal for an overnight escape for daring lovers.

Unique Locations for Memorable Experiences

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

“The Mazon River is special since it is truly the only waterway in which the state non-renewable — the tullimonstrum — is available,” Janee stated. The river has many traditional beds, which have been strange for quick formation. That means the beds preserved both difficult and comfortable cells, building a distinct traditional form.

The Mazon in addition doesn’t enable energy or motorized vessel visitors since it’s very low, which makes it a fantastic location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, in fact it is obtainable through the Kayak Morris website, can be an important waterway as it exposed within the 1800s and was the primary method for moving goods before the damming of this Illinois River. Couple of canoing businesses are fortunate enough to-be found near the convergence of several different waterways.

The campground normally on a distinctive block of land; it really is a wooded beach, which can be an urgent view in Illinois. Lovers when you look at the Chicago area might be surprised to locate that simply an hour out of the area — plus much less from a few of the suburbs — is a relaxing just right a quiet coastline which provides the ability to kayak through several rivers.

Accommodations for Exploration and led Tours

At Kayak Morris, you’ll be able to rent a kayak to explore the encircling area on your own — or with that special someone — you can also continue a guided concert tour. The company supplies 2 kinds of trips, based your level of canoing experience. You’re the novice trip, in fact it is couple of hours long and perfect for all those who have never kayaked before.

More advanced kayakers — or individuals who want a prolonged adventure — can pick the two advanced trips, which last around four hours. The Four streams journey requires kayakers across the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, in addition to Illinois River with an end for meal. Others advanced tour will be the Starved Rock Tour, which requires adventurous singles or couples on a tour beginning on Starved Rock State Park.

The concert tour provides amazing opinions of canyons and that can’t be observed by climbing. Each trip is directed by a guide who’s dedicated to both storytelling as well as your security.

There’s two possibilities at Kayak Morris: unmarried kayaks or combination kayaks that hold up to three individuals. “The combination kayaks are far more stable than a canoe; it is nearly impossible to advice over a tandem canoe,” Janee said.

Just like you move through water, you’ll likely note regional creatures, such as turtles bald eagles, great blue herons, fantastic US pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and wild turkeys, stated Janee.

Affordable hiking close to the Beach

In addition to fun in the liquid, Kayak Morris comes with wooded beachfront campgrounds where you can pitch a tent and camp out before or after your kayaking escapades. No RV camping is allowed, you could park your car or truck extremely near to the camping tents.

“our very own campsites tend to be well-liked by people, couples, singles — anyone enthusiastic about out-of-doors,” Janee said. “We’re not a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night variety of location.”

Janee mentioned that, when she very first introduced canoe leases and academic tours to the place, need for over night accommodations implemented quickly. “We were using countless childhood teams, particularly lookout groups, as well as wanted to remain instantaneously,” she mentioned. “The actual only real destination I could advise had been a state playground around that you’d have to park at and hike all your valuable gear within one half a mile. Countless groups did not want to do that. Therefore I purchased some land close to the river, and correct near to another condition playground.”

She bought the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually turned it into a campsite across the next a couple of years. She find the land for its proximity to several waterways and its sandy, wooded coastline. “It gave groups the opportunity to stay in a single day, and in addition it lured clients from a bigger geographical region,” Janee stated. “they may besides kayak for the day, however they may also remain instantly and won’t need take a trip back again to wherever they name house.”

Tent camp costs are merely $8 per sex, which makes it an easily affordable getaway for lovers. Baths can be obtained on Morris Community children’s pool merely a mile away, and, any time you forget anything, stores are down the road.

If you’re searching to complete more than just canoe and flake out in the coastline, other pursuits in your community consist of geocaching, climbing, biking, and fishing, Janee mentioned.

Most of the people exactly who visited Kayak Morris aren’t locals, Janee said, but they are from the Chicagoland location. “we are easy to get at; folks need not head to Wisconsin or Michigan for a tiny holiday. This is like a staycation,” she said.

Glampout occasions assist People Ease towards Camping

Not everybody is into durable outdoor camping, putting up camping tents, or making fireside meals by themselves. This is exactly why Kayak Morris hosts distinctive 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — activities as a fun and convenient alternative. “With glampouts, my mega personal classifieds mission is to get people outdoors who or else would not go outdoors,” Janee mentioned.

For glampout activities, the Kayak Morris staff throws up-and takes all the way down tents for visitors, and additionally they supply asleep pillows to make the hotels much more comfortable. While the staff locations seats for individuals to relax in, brings in lumber, starts the campfires, and keeps them going.

Kayak Morris additionally acts a potluck supper and displays a motion picture exterior during glampouts, you could also go out of the campfires if you want to unplug from technology. In the morning, the employees serves break fast with things like sausage, eggs, pancakes, fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour led newbie kayak tour normally added to a glampout package. Addititionally there is the required time to hike, seafood, browse, or simply just flake out. Janee stated the bundle is perfect for an individual who doesnot need to camp alone, or a couple or family members who would like to take pleasure in the in the open air much more ease, letting them give attention to leisure and fun in the place of strategies.

Further coming for Kayak Morris is opening an extra place to create much more offerings for outdoor-loving couples when you look at the Midwest.