Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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A couple of weeks ago the Friends of the Chicago River volunteer canoe guides spent a beautiful day on the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons. We took turns practicing canoe rescues in the event that a guest dumps. We then paddled south towards the North Branch of the Chicago River and enjoyed a beautiful day on the river.

Skokie Lagoons

A Friends of the Chicago River group GoPro selfie on the Skokie Lagoons

Trip begins on the Skokie Lagoons

I first captured a video of a rescue. I was too far away to adequately capture what goes in to making a rescue, so I will revert back to the video I took last year.

After we each got a shot at practicing our rescues, it was time for a GoPro group canoe selfie. Thanks to utilizing the GoPro app on my iPhone, I started taking pictures every two seconds for about 30 seconds and lead photo on this post is the best picture out of the bunch.

Then it was time to paddle across the southern section of the Skokie Lagoons and head to the North Branch of the Chicago River. It was a perfect day to be out on the water with just a breeze and a comfortable temperature in the mid 60s. I think the pleasant day is well captured in the below video.

Onward to the North Branch of the Chicago River

Once we cleared the dams, we made it into the North Branch of the Chicago River. This section of river is one of the best adventures you will find in the Chicago area. I cannot believe last year was the first year I paddled this stretch. I made up for lost time as I have now paddled it four times, and I will paddle it at least one more time this year.

North Branch Skokie Lagoons

North Branch of the Chicago River just south of the Skokie Lagoons

North Branch Chicago River

A Tom Judge sighting on the North Branch of the Chicago River

As soon as we entered the North Branch, I changed the GoPro setting to time lapse photography set at a five second interval. The river is at its most scenic after the leaves come out later in the summer. For a comparison of these photos, check out the post below, which captured the river in August. I hear it is also nice in the fall. With so many trees along the river, I can imagine how it would be spectacular during the fall color change.

Discovering unexpected Chicago River canoe adventures

North Branch Chicago River

Chicago River guides gathering under a bridge on the North Branch

I also did a little time lapse video. One section we had a downfall and had to drag all the canoes overs the trees. I had the GoPro going on time lapse during this section. The video below I took on time lapse and then slowed it down on editing to make a slow motion like effect.

Here is another video of just straight time lapse:

I then went back to taking time lapse photos. In one picture a deer stared at use from the water’s edge. I tried to stare back with the GoPro on my head on a head strap. The GoPro does not take good wildlife shots as it has no zoom capability, so take your wildlife photos with something else.

Deer North Branch Chicago River

Can anyone spot the deer in this one? Its head is sticking between where the two deadfalls meet

North Branch Chicago River

While most of this stretch is rather wild, there are also sections where you remember you are in an urban setting like when you go under power lines or under an interstate

North Branch Chicago River

Under the bridge on the North Branch of the Chicago River

North Branch Chicago River

Scenery so nice, I need two pictures

Chicago River

North Branch of the Chicago River

Come join us on a North Branch of the Chicago River trip or on another paddle. Check out the Friends of the Chicago River event schedule for a future paddle opportunity.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).