Whether you rent one of our boats or bring your own, you can enjoy several DuPage forest preserves from the water.



Boat Rentals

Rent canoes, kayaks and rowboats at Blackwell or Herrick Lake.

Rentals are available weekends through the end of September and daily Memorial Day through Labor Day. Both sites also sell bait and accept cash or credit cards. Life jackets and paddles or oars are provided with each rental.

Blackwell and Herrick Lake (valid driver's license required for deposit)
DuPage resident or nonresident

Rowboat or single kayak $12 per hour
Canoe or tandem kayak $15 per hour
Rowboat with trolling motor (at Blackwell only)       $20 per hour


April and May               Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Memorial Day – Labor Day Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Memorial Day, Fourth of July and
Labor Day             
8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
After Labor Day Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Rentals end one hour before closing. 

At Herrick Lake

May 25 – Labor Day       Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Memorial Day, Fourth of July and
Labor Day       
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Rentals end one hour before closing.


Bring Your Own Boat

Private Watercraft on Lakes

You can use your own watercraft on four forest preserve lakes  — Silver Lake at Blackwell (boat ramp), Round Meadow Lake at Hidden Lake (carry-in only), Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake (carry-in only) and Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch (carry-in only) — with a Forest Preserve District private boating permit.  

You can purchase an annual boating permit online or through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can also purchase an annual permit at Blackwell when it's open and daily permits (cash only) at steel lockboxes at all four lakes. 

Private Watercraft on Rivers

If you're boating on either branch of the DuPage River or on Salt Creek, you don't need a Forest Preserve District permit but you do need to follow all state regulations.

You can enter at any practical forest preserve location except at The Preserve at Oak Meadows, but there's easy access to the West Branch DuPage River at Blackwell, Warrenville Grove and McDowell Grove and to Salt Creek at Salt Creek Park, Cricket Creek, Salt Creek Greenway at Hunter Road (take-out only) and Fullersburg Woods near the Graue Mill parking lot.

Permits & Fees

Boaters can purchase daily and annual permits online 24/7. For other options, download our private boating permit application (PDF) or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248. You can also purchase an annual permit at Blackwell when it's open and daily permits (cash only) at steel lockboxes at all four lakes identified above. 

Boating Permits

Annual permits are for the calendar year January – December.

DuPage resident

Annual permit
     First boat
     Additional boat(s)

Daily permit


$15 each



Annual permit
 First boat
     Additional boat(s)

Daily permit

$35 each


Private Boating Rules & Regulations

For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations, which the Forest Preserve District may change at any time.

  • Only boat on the four designated DuPage forest preserve lakes: Silver Lake at Blackwell, Round Meadow Lake at Hidden Lake, Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake and Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch
  • Silver Lake has a boat launch, which is open March 1 – Nov. 30. The other three lakes are carry-in only. At these three, you must manually move your watercraft from the parking lot to the water. If you're using a trailer, you must unhitch it and park it in its own individual parking space.
  • Affix your annual permit to the bow of your craft above the waterline or carry the receipt for your daily permit. Present your permit to a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County agent for inspection upon request.
  • Your watercraft must have a valid hull identification number (HIN).
  • You cannot use crafts over 20 feet long, float tubes and floating devices without foot wells or railings.
  • You cannot use gas motors, but you can use electric motors. If your craft has any kind of motor, however, it must also have the proper state registration.
  • If you have an inflatable watercraft, it must have multiple air chambers and either 1) certification by the National Marine Manufacturers Association or the Coast Guard through the manufacturer or 2) a factory-made hardened floor.
  • Per federal and state regulations, your watercraft must have one properly fitting, wearable, Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person on board. If it’s 16 feet or longer it must also have a Coast Guard-approved throwable flotation device.
    Boaters under 13 years old must wear their personal flotation devices at all times. In addition, per Forest Preserve District regulations, all boaters regardless of age must wear their personal flotation devices in canoes, kayaks, sailboats and inflatable watercraft.
  • You cannot carry passengers and cargo with a total combined weight greater than your watercraft’s posted safe-carrying capacity. The manufacturer’s capacity plate must be permanently affixed to your watercraft.
  • Be off the water by sunset.
  • Do not swim or enter the water from your watercraft.
  • When you leave the water, per Illinois law you must remove all aquatic plants and animals from your watercraft and any other equipment before leaving the shore.

By agreeing to the rules and regulations on your permit application you agree to abide by them as well as all Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ordinances,  state statutesYou understand, too, that the Forest Preserve District may fine you or revoke your permit without refunding your permit fee if you supply false information on your application or fail to comply with any rules, regulations, ordinances, orders or statutes.


Zebra Mussels

The Forest Preserve District has found nonnative, invasive zebra mussels in four lakes at three preserves: Deep Quarry and Bass lakes at West Branch, Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake, and Eagle Lake at Hidden Lake. You can help stop their spread no matter where you boat or fish.

  • Remove all plants, animals and mud from boats, equipment and trailers.
  • Drain all water from your boat and gear and dry everything thoroughly with a towel.
  • Empty all bait buckets in garbage cans or dumpsters before leaving the lake. (You can’t see juvenile zebra mussels with the naked eye.)

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit