Launch your canoe, kayak or other small boat at one of six launches along the Des Plaines River, Sterling Lake at Van Patten Woods (Wadsworth), or on Long Lake at Grant Woods (Lake Villa). Launching is free and at your own risk. You’ll need approved flotation gear and your boat must be properly registered with the state of Illinois. Trailers are permitted but parking at some sites may be limited to grass overflow parking lot. Electric trolling motors are allowed. A variety of small boats are available for rent at Independence Grove. For larger boats, Fox River Forest Preserve has one of the best equipped daily launches on the Fox River and slips are available for rent in the preserve’s beautiful 169-slip marina. See map for preserve locations and things to do.