Buffalo Park is a Kane County Forest Preserve park at the south end of Algonquin. There is no cost to launch your Stand Up Paddleboard at this park. There is ample parking, restrooms and picnic tables.
Rick and I paddled upstream from Buffalo Park north to the bike path bridge. Paddling upstream is a great workout, especially at the bends in the river. The water level was very low and only about 15 inches at some points causing our fins to hit the bottom of the river bed. At some points we even pushed off the bottom of the river with our paddles. Once we reached the bridge that connects the bike path the water was very low with large rocks showing and the water was in a whirlpool. Up ahead we saw many more rocks and low spots so we decided to turn around at the bridge.
Going back downstream with the current was a breeze. Even though the water was only 15 inches we could not see the bottom of the riverbed as the water was murky. The banks on this stretch of the river are lined with older single family homes. On the west bank you will pass the Algonquin Sanitation Plant, so the scenery and the smell is not the best.
We would try this upstream route again if the water level was higher and try to go past the bridge up to Cornish Park just south of the Algonquin dam. The next time we go to Buffalo Park we will drop a car off downstream either at the Fox River Shores or at the Carpentersville Dam and paddle downstream for a one way trip.
At Alpine Accessories many customers ask us “where can you paddleboard?” To help Stand Up Paddleboarders find places to SUP our staff will be visiting areas in the Fox Valley where you can SUP, how to get there and what is would cost.
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