Riverview Ranch & Resort

Canoe and Kayak on the Mississippi River

Horse Ranch and petting farm

Boating and Camping On The River

Pricing, Options, and FAQs

We have one canoe and two kayaks available for rent or for a tour.

To make a reservation

first schedule a tour with Riverboat Roger and then go to Payment page and pay for the event.

Weight Limits - Canoe

Max (people): 695 lbs.

Max (total - including equipment): 775 lbs.

Max wt. of individual: 250 lbs.

Max number of people: 5 persons.

Weight Limits - Kayak

Max capacity: 225 lbs

If load exceeds max safe limit: weight must be adjusted by leaving something/someone behind, or spreading the load to another boat.
If the trip is cancelled for excessive weight, NO refund will be given.

Lily pads bloom mid July - early Sept.

canoe or kayak
Thousands of huge, bright yellow water lily flowers, in late summer/early fall, are easily accessible by canoe or kayak.

Beautiful, Secluded, Slow Moving Waters

Waters are slow moving and full of fish, water fowl, and other animals. This area of the Mississippi has numerous waterways winding around pristine islands. Not many boats come to this area so it is very private. Other boaters tend to stay more on the main channel in deeper water. canoe or kayak


Boat operators (anyone paddling/steering-including kids) are required to take a DNR and NASBLA approved safety course prior to going out on a rental boat unless they can demonstrate compliance with the Illinois Boating Safety Certificate requirements (625 ILCS 45/5-18). Riverview Ranch is required by Ill. Admin. Code tit. 17 2080.75 (c) to maintain records of persons renting a watercraft for a period of at least one year. Those records shall contain proof of boat safety education card or, if taking the 16 minute abbreviated safety instruction, a minimum of the renter's name, date of birth, driver's license number (if available) and signature. This info is entered on the Liability waiver. Please take this required safety course before arriving for your boating event. If any operator arrives without having taken the course we will have to wait for them to take the 16 minute course before putting out. We recommend going through the Checklist before boating.

Boat renters are asked to stay in communication with Riverboat Roger, normally by text message, for boaters' safety during the trip. You will be provided with paddles, a life vest for each person on the boat, whistles, and maps. You should bring extra water bottles, bug spray, hats, and sunscreen.

canoe or kayak

Petting Farm

canoe or kayak

Mississippi River in fall

A calm day on the river

canoe or kayak

How long will we have the boat(s)?

Day Tours take about 2 hours. Bring a sandwich for Riverboat Roger and stay out an extra half hour. Riverboat Roger will give you a tour of the area and give instruction as needed.

Day Rentals may stay out for up to 3.5 hours.
We deliver the boats to the launch site and recover them after you return.

Overnight Campers launch at 1 pm on the first day and return by 1 pm on their last camping day.

(3 minute video of a canoe trip to Hale Island Beach)

Camping on the Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge

"Camping is allowed free of cost on islands on the Mississippi River that are within refuge boundaries." All the islands near Riverview Ranch & Resort are within the refuge boundaries so you can camp on any of the numerous islands. Riverboat Roger will show you his favorite spots.

Camping Rules and Policies of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Rent our canoe or kayaks for overnight trips or for an extended campout. We'll provide the camping equipment and firewood. Its easy to impress your family: just reserve the boats and camping equipment for the adventure of a lifetime for less cost than staying in a hotel. Get a fishing license and spend lazy summer days fishing with your kids. You must agree to leave the campsite clean and natural. Take all your trash and equipment with you when you leave and try not to disturb the natural setting.

Options to get out to the Campsite:
1. Small group - You take the canoe and up to two kayaks and go out to a campsite on your own. Riverboat Roger will suggest options and provide a map.

2. larger group - Riverboat Roger goes with your first group of up to 6 people and helps select the campsite. He will assist in camp setup. Then Roger will return with the canoe and turn it over to your second group of campers. The second group paddles themselves to the campsite. Roger can go back and forth as many times as needed for a fee. The return trip will go the same way, but in reverse. Each trip takes about 45 minutes.

3. Full Service River Glamping. Riverboat Roger will erect/take down your campsite and shuttle you back and forth in the canoe/kayaks.

See Pricing Page for prices.

General Info

Map of the local river area
Map of the larger river area up to Galena River
Handbook of Illinois Boating Laws and Responsibilities.
We provide life vests and whistles.
Map1. Map2

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

We recommend you bring a sack lunch to eat on Beach Island (40 minute trip each way). If you bring a sandwich for Riverboat Roger he will probably let you stay out an extra half hour.

At your scheduled time meet Riverboat Roger at the Railroad Crossing. Follow him to the launch site. Park on the grass just uphill from the launch site. Riverboat Roger will give you a quick safety lecture, make sure you have all the necessary equipment, ask you to sign a required Liability waiver, and help you paddle the canoe if you are taking the two hour tour.

If you rent the boat(s) for 3.5 hours Riverboat Roger will give you his cell phone number, orient you to the area, and provide a map. If you are camping overnight coordinate with Riverboat Roger before arrival to ensure a smooth camping experience.

To check the river water level go to Water.Weather.Gov and hover over the Bellvue IA green dot. If the Tallwater reading is less than 5 feet you should not attempt to navigate the areas shown in this shallow water map in a canoe or kayak.


A healthy crew of 2 can paddle the boat about 3 to 4 mph for an extended time. Average speed is about 3.5 mph.
Route one - 2.54 miles (44 minutes) - RnR Beach Island - return the reverse route.
If Riverboat Roger accompanies you we will go to RnR Beach Island - walk the length of the beach and then return. This takes about two hours total.
If you bring a sandwich for Riverboat Roger he will stay a while longer on the beach with you.

If you rent the boats without the tour guide you pay the same price but can keep the boats as long as 3.5 hours. You are not limited in what route you take, so here is another suggestion: Route two - 4.62 miles (1 hr 19 min)- RnR Beach Island - Chestnut Mountain - launch site.
If you just want to paddle around and explore you don't need a route to follow. Just keep track of where you are and be back to the launch site on time. A cell phone map app works great for keeping track of your location.

Satellite Picture of the area.
Sun Angle Chart - can be helpful in selecting your camping site. It shows where you can expect the sun to rise and set. Use it so you have a view of the setting sun over the water for spectacular sunsets.

Athletes can paddle up to 6 miles per hour. Add any time you plan to stay on the beach to the total time. You will probably want to stop and enjoy scenery often, so plan extra time for that. I recommend route one for most people. There is plenty to see and it is pretty easy going with less chance of getting lost. We provide boat(s), paddles, life vests, ropes, whistles, plastic bags for cell phones, and a map of the area. You should bring plenty of drinking water.

Hale Island Beach About one and a quarter mile away in slow moving waters (45 minutes paddling). The beach overlooks the main channel of the Mississippi river. You can camp on this island where a lot of boaters visit on weekends or you can select a more private location to camp. You might want to camp on the forested half of the island so you can walk around the island to visit with all the boaters and get some privacy by just walking to your camp. It is up to you where to camp but Riverboat Roger will be glad to assist you in finding the right spot.

Hale Island Beach

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is an angler's paradise! Anglers fish year round for walleye, sauger, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bullhead, channel catfish, crappie, and sunfish below the dams, in sloughs and channels between islands. Fishing is allowed in accordance to state fishing regulations and federal Public Use regulations. All anglers must have paper copies of their state fishing licenses with them while fishing on the refuge. Canoe on Mississippi River

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