If anything signals the summer season, lolling about on a lake in a boat is one of them.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers two boat-rental areas and both are open. Herrick Lake at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton and Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, both offer for rent canoes, kayaks and rowboats.
The areas will be open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, both locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekends.
In September, the facilities will operate weekends only from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost of renting canoes, kayaks and rowboats are $10 an hour and $50 a day. Rowboats with trolling motors are available at Blackwell for $15 an hour and $75 a day. Bait is also available at $2.50 for a dozen night crawlers or three-dozen wax worms.
Visitors can also use Silver Lake’s drive-up launch for their own nongasoline-powered watercraft — boats, canoes, kayaks and multichambered inflatables with factory-installed hardened floors and transoms — up to 20 feet.
Forest preserve district private-boating permits are required and are available at the rental facility during usual hours, any time from steel locked boxes at the lake, and weekdays from district headquarters at 3s580 Naperville Road in Wheaton. Permits for DuPage residents are $7 a day or $35 a year; and for nonresidents are $9 a day and $45 a year. Water usage stamps for private canoes and kayaks, which are required by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, are also available at district headquarters on weekdays.
For more information, call visitor services at 630-933-7248 or visit dupageforest.org and click on “Things to Do,” “Recreational Activities” and the boating icon.