Chicago Whitewater Association


Vermilion is OPEN

The Vermilion river has been closed for a few years but in 2012 it was finally opened back up, check out the Vermilion River page to see how Wildcat has changed - it's a whole new rapid.



Yorkville Beginner Trip
4/24/2016  [more info]

Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Class
3/28/2016  [more info]

Local Vendors

Girls At Play

Girls at Play Webstore

Yak Shack

Yak Shack

Welcome Chicagoland Whitewater Kayakers and Canoeists!

circle of paddlersWhy should you join Chicago Whitewater Association? Because CWA is the place for Greater Chicago whitewater boaters to hook-up for great times both on and off the river. CWA has pool sessions in the Fall and Winter to help teach beginners the basics of our exciting sport. We then have several beginner trips in the Spring in Illinois and Wisconsin to help these students learn their river skills.

CWA is also the place that newcomers to the area contact to learn about Midwest paddling opportunites. We search the smallest creeks and streams for Illinois Whitewater. But, we do enjoy paddling outside of the Midwest. You can make new friends to kayak or canoe those distant rivers or to socialize with in Chicago.

Join CWA, an organization of paddlers, kayakers as well as canoe enthusiasts, who love the fun and excitement of fast running rivers and are dedicated to the upkeep and preservation of America's beautiful river systems.

Classes & Trips

Pool Sessions Going now!

Pool sessions run in the winter and fall - check out the classes page to get full details!

pool session

Sessions currently running:

  • Harper College - Palatine
  • Latoff YMCA - Des Plaines
  • Oak Park YMCA - Oak park

Sessions starting soon:

  • Conant - Schaumburg

Beginner Trips Coming up in Spring

It's that time of year that all of the students that took pool sessions are hoping to expand on their skills and head out to moving water on our beginner trips. This is also the time of year all of our members start thinking about getting out on those quickly swelling rivers. Check the Events page for the dates for this year. We welcome all social paddlers to come along and paddle just ahead or behind the student groups and join us afterwards for a club dinner at a nearby location.

Learn more and sign up for Beginner trips now!