For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations.
- Boating is only allowed on four DuPage forest preserve waters: 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.
- You must have either a valid annual Forest Preserve District private boating permit affixed to the bow of your craft above the waterline or a receipt for a daily permit.
- Your watercraft must have a valid hull identification number (HIN).
- 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.
- Inflatable watercraft must have multiple air chambers and either 1) certification by the National Marine Manufacturers Association or the Coast Guard through the manufacturer or 2) factory-made hardened floors.
- The following watercraft are not allowed: crafts over 20 feet long, paddleboards, float tubes, and floating devices without foot wells or railings.
- Per federal and state regulations, watercraft must have one properly fitting, wearable, Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person on board. Watercraft 16 feet or longer 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.
- You must be off the water by sunset.
- Swimming or entering the water from your watercraft is strictly prohibited.
- Per Illinois law, when you leave the water you must remove all aquatic plants and animals from your watercraft and any other equipment before leaving the shore.
- In addition to these rules and regulations you must also follow all state statutes and all Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ordinances, state statutes and administrative orders.
Boating on Rivers
You do not need a Forest Preserve District permit to boat on either branch of the DuPage River, Salt Creek or the Des Plaines River. For complete state boating requirements, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources boating webpage.
You can enter these waterways at any practical forest preserve location except The Preserve at Oak Meadows. The District offers 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.