monty wrote:Joe Where do you load your kayak to get to those north areas?
Rambler wrote:monty wrote:Joe Where do you load your kayak to get to those north areas?
Hmm...the spots Joe has highlighted are among the least accessible at Skokie Lagoons.
If you put in off of Forestway Dr. just as it curves to the east south of Dundee you'll find yourself in a 'landlocked' lagoon (#6). To get to where he's talking about you need to paddle along the north bank until you come to the causeway that connects what would otherwise be an island to the 'mainland'. You can see the causeway at the lower right of Joe's map. Portaging over the causeway will get you into Joe's area. It's pretty deep on both sides so be careful.
Once you're north of the causeway you can paddle up to the Dundee bridge & if you want, paddle around the 'island' and down into the west channel of the lagoons. BTW - north of Dundee is the Botanic Garden - paddling up there is verboten.
Going south in the west channel you'll come to a very narrow spot. Sometimes it looks like it's closed off but you should be able to push your way through. This is where there was once a bridge made of heavy timbers the CCC used in the 30s to get heavy equipment into the area where they were digging out the lagoons. They did it by hand for the 1st 2 years or so! Whenever you hear someone say how useless the government is consider the fact that the wonderful resource of the lagoons wouldn't be there without FDR and the CCC. That area used to be called the Chewab Skokie - Pottawatomie for 'Big Marsh' - which is what it was before the government dug it out. The bridge got taken out by ice flows back in the bad winters we had in the mid & late 70s.
BTW - the government went back in in the 90s and dredged the lagoons back to their original depths. Before that there was about a foot of water and 10 - 15 feet of muck due to silting. Not very good for bass.
Going down the west channel you have the option of portaging back into lagoon #6 or going all the way down to Tower Rd, swinging back up the east channel and portaging over the dam that backs lagoon #6.
If you want to portage stay on the east side of the west channel and watch for the portage site. This portage is only 15 feet or so across. Again, deep on both sides so be careful. If you choose to continue south be sure to fish around the islands above the Tower Rd dam and above & below the dam.
Suggest you take binoculars - the lagoons are one of the premier birding areas in Chicagoland & you might see species you won't see anywhere else around here.
PS - there are very good maps available on line. Suggest you print one out & take it along until you get to know the area.
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