The beautiful Illinois River is located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; a scenic body of water that runs 60 miles and flows southwest along the Cookson Hills. If you admire natural beauty, wildlife and clear blue water, you should head east and experience an Illinois River floating trip.
However, the first thing you should consider before booking a leisure trip is to know when is the perfect time to visit. Perhaps, you’re looking to chill out and relax in the summer heat or enjoy a getaway with friends during the fall.
The big question is, what season should you book Illinois River float trips? Keep reading to learn some tips on how you can make the most out of this leisurely ride.
What Season Is Best And Why
The peak season for Illinois River floating is between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, many outfitters are renting equipment in the springtime and fall season. You can choose from a full range of float trips with 4, 9, and 14-mile stretches.
You can rent inflatable tubes, canoes, kayaks, tie rafts, life jackets, a small first aid kit, and water shoes for your trip. There are also Class II River tubes that come with drink coolers for convenient storage.
If you’re planning to book an overnight float trip, there are outfitters that rent equipment for large group lodging and night camping including a snack shop, bunkhouses, an air-conditioned cabin, motel rooms, and campsites. Amenities include swimming pools, a huge water slide, camping gear, sand volleyball, a full-service campground, and other Illinois River offers.
The breathtaking landscape is surrounded by sharp rocks, rocky bluffs, and Ozark Mountains covered with beautiful scenery of white oak and redbud trees. They provide shade for foxes and some bird species like bald eagles that are protected by Oklahoma State Rangers.
When Can You Start Floating the Illinois River?
Aside from the busy season, travelers can float the Illinois River in Northeastern Oklahoma any time of the year since Illinois River outfitters are open to guests all year-round. However, you can start floating on this famous Arkansas river even in winter as long as you make advance notice and the river conditions are safe.
When booking your overnight trip and group lodge during winter, you can enjoy a more peaceful Illinois River float trip. Choose an outfitter that can provide everything you need during overnight trips or day trips.
Most outfitters offer all the equipment including personal flotation devices, tubes, canoes, kayaks, rafts, and an endless supply of tying rafts. They can transport you to the drop-off point, where you will float back to a pick-up point.
The most popular outfitters are All American Floats, Arrowhead Resort, Diamondhead Resort, Peyton’s Place, and Eagle Bluff Resort, and War Eagle Resort. These are all reliable in providing the best outdoor adventures with a float plan and your own transportation.
You can also check out Falcon Floats, Hanging Rock Camp, Riverside Resort, and Sparrow Hawk Camp. Visit the Grand River Dam Authority or Illinois River safety officer as they are ready to give you a memorable float experience on Memorial Day weekend.
Before you schedule your day trip with these outfitters, make sure to plan ahead and apply sunscreen and bring your own gear such as a life jacket to get a comfortable adventure as advised by the Oklahoma Scenic River Commission.