January 4, 2023 | .

The brief Version: Janee Matteson had constantly adored activities therefore the outside, but her hometown of Morris, Illinois, found along a few figures , had few possibilities for getting on water in human-powered watercraft. Therefore she launched Kayak Morris, a business that provides kayak accommodations, two degrees of directed tours, and affordable beach hiking. The experience company has the benefit of glampouts, which provide a more lavish camping knowledge if you are a new comer to the outdoors. Merely an hour from Chicago, Kayak Morris is the perfect spot for an adventurous daytime day or a nature-inspired instantly holiday.


Raising right up in Morris, Illinois, Janee Matteson cherished recreations and also the outside, but she ended up being always astonished that the woman hometown, that has three waterways running all the way through it, lacked any options for kayaking or making use of other human-powered watercraft.

Janee studied activities medicine in university, although she liked assisting men and women once she began in industry, functioning inside all day quickly became dreary and unchallenging. Thus, in 2010, she encountered the idea to start Kayak Morris: a business available canoe accommodations and led tours.

“My hometown constantly met with the nickname River City, nevertheless ended up being constantly used for pontoon ships and fishing boats for sale,” she stated. “It is a functional river, therefore we have actually commercial barge site visitors also, but never ever any human-powered watercraft.”

She changed by using the launch of Kayak Morris. And after a few years of achievements, she purchased an area of secure and included wooded, beachfront campgrounds — excellent for an overnight escape for adventurous couples.

Original stores for Memorable Experiences

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

“The Mazon River is exclusive since it is really the only waterway where in actuality the condition fossil — the tullimonstrum — is found,” Janee said. The lake has its own traditional beds, which have been strange because of their fast formation. That implies the bedrooms preserved both hard and soft tissues, creating a distinct fossil type.

The Mazon additionally doesn’t allow power or motorized motorboat visitors as it’s so low, which makes it a great location to kayak.

The I&M Canal, and that’s available through the Kayak Morris site, normally a significant waterway because it opened within the 1800s and was actually the principal avenue for hauling items prior to the damming on the Illinois River. Few kayaking companies are lucky enough getting found nearby the convergence of several different waterways.

The campsite is on exclusive parcel of land; it really is a wooded beach, and that is surprise view in Illinois. Lovers from inside the Chicago region are surprised locate that just an hour or so out of the urban area — and also less from many suburbs — is a calming just right a peaceful coastline that provides the opportunity to kayak through several streams.

Leases for Exploration and Guided Tours

At Kayak Morris, you’ll rent out a canoe to understand more about the surrounding location yourself — or with a special someone — or you can continue a guided tour. The organization supplies two types of trips, based the level of canoing knowledge. You’re the beginner tour, and is couple of hours very long and perfect for whoever has never kayaked prior to.

Heightened kayakers — or those people that desire a long adventure — can pick one of many two premium trips, which last up to four hours. The Four Rivers journey requires kayakers along the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Dupage River, the Desplaines River, as well as the Illinois River with a stop for meal. The other advanced tour could be the Starved Rock trip, which requires adventurous singles or couples on a trip starting within Starved stone county Park.

The trip supplies incredible opinions of canyons plus that can not be viewed by walking. Each concert tour is actually directed by helpful information who’s centered on both storytelling along with your protection.

There have been two solutions at Kayak Morris: single kayaks or tandem kayaks that hold-up to 3 folks. “The combination kayaks are much more steady than a canoe; it is extremely difficult to point over a tandem kayak,” Janee stated.

As you undertake the water, you will probably observe local wildlife, such turtles bald eagles, great bluish herons, great United states pelicans, egrets, owls, kingfishers, and wild turkeys, said Janee.

Inexpensive hiking close to the Beach

In inclusion to enjoyable regarding liquid, Kayak Morris has wooded beachfront campsites where you can pitch a tent and camp out before or after your kayaking activities. No RV hiking is enabled, but you can park the car very close to the tents.

“All of our campsites tend to be popular with family members, couples, singles — anybody interested in outside,” Janee stated. “we aren’t a pull-off-the-highway-and-camp-for-the-night types of destination.”

Janee asserted that, when she 1st delivered kayak leases and academic trips on the area, need for over night hotels then followed rapidly. “We were dealing with plenty of childhood groups, specifically lookout groups, and additionally they desired to stay instantaneously,” she mentioned. “The only location i really could advise had been a situation playground in the city that you’d need to park at and hike your equipment in approximately half a mile. Plenty of teams don’t wish to accomplish that. So I bought some secure directly on the lake, and right near to another condition park.”

She bought the secure for Kayak Morris in 2012 and gradually turned it into a campground on top of the next 2 yrs. She chose the story for the proximity to many waterways as well as its sandy, wooded coastline. “It offered teams to be able to stay instantly, looked after lured customers from a bigger geographic place,” Janee said. “they were able to not simply kayak during the day, even so they can also remain over night and wouldn’t need to take a trip back once again to wherever they call home.”

Tent camp charges are just $8 per person, making it an easily affordable escape for couples. Showers can be obtained during the Morris Community children’s pool only a mile out, and, should you decide forget something, stores are simply down the road.

If you’re searching doing more than just kayak and chill out regarding beach, other activities in your neighborhood consist of geocaching, walking, cycling, and fishing, Janee mentioned.

The majority of people just who reach Kayak Morris aren’t residents, Janee stated, but they are through the Chicagoland region. “we are easy to get at; individuals don’t need to go to Wisconsin or Michigan to own limited getaway. This can be like a staycation,” she mentioned.

Glampout occasions assist individuals Ease towards Camping

Not many people are into rugged outdoor camping, pitching tents, or creating fireside dinners on their own. This is exactly why Kayak Morris hosts distinctive 24-hour glampout — or glamorous campout — events as a great and convenient alternative. “With glampouts, my objective is to obtain folks out-of-doors who or else won’t go outdoors,” Janee said.

For glampout activities, the Kayak Morris personnel throws up-and takes straight down camping tents for visitors, and additionally they provide sleeping cushions to make the hotels convenient. While the team places chairs for individuals to unwind in, earns lumber, starts the campfires, and helps them to stay going.

Kayak Morris also serves a potluck dinner and displays a motion picture exterior during glampouts, you could additionally spend time of the campfires if you want to disconnect from technology. Each morning, the employees acts morning meal with items like sausage, eggs, pancakes, good fresh fruit, pastries, and Starbucks coffee.

A two-hour guided novice kayak trip can incorporated with a glampout bundle. Additionally, there is plenty of time to hike, seafood, browse, or just unwind. Janee mentioned the plan is perfect for an individual would youn’t want to camp alone, or several or household who wants to benefit from the outdoors in more convenience, allowing them to pay attention to rest and fun versus strategies.

Further on the horizon for Kayak Morris is actually beginning the second place to take much more offerings for outdoor-loving couples in the Midwest.