Boating at Our Preserves

Take advantage of the Mississippi River access and the #1 reason people visit the Quad Cities area. The Rock Island County Forest Preserve District offers two different locations for Mississippi River boating access. Both Illiniwek Forest Preserve and Loud Thunder Forest Preserve offer boat launches to the Mississippi River.  Loud Thunder Forest Preserve also has public boat and kayak launch area for a day on Lake George.  Lake George is 167 acre no gas motor use lake ideal for a quiet day of kayaking, paddle boarding or fishing.  Lake George also has a seasonal boat rental operation if you don't have your own.  Large and small pontoon boats, jon boats, kayaks and canoe's are available for hourly rentals Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend.

Illiniwek Forest Preserve Boating

Boating at IlliniwekBoating is amongst the many recreational activities available at Illiniwek Forest Preserve, with Mississippi River access.

The Illiniwek Forest Preserve boat launch with direct access to the Mississippi River is available for public use from April to October. The launch has two ramps with docks, one of which has ADA accessibility.  Dock availability may be limited if the Mississippi River is above its normal depth stage.

Please take into consideration any recent flood levels, river changes, and know your boat before going out on the Mississippi River for your safety. For your safety the Forest Preserve District recommends that a life jacket is worn at all times when boating on the Mississippi River and that swimming is prohibited in the Mississippi River from the riverfront at Illiniwek Forest Preserve.

Boating at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve


Lake George Boat Rental at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve will open Memorial Day Weekend for the 2021 season.  Follow Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Facebook page for the most recent updates and information.

Boating is amongst the many recreational activities available at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve, with access to the Mississippi River & Lake George.  Boat rentals are for Lake George only-scroll down to see dates and hours of operation.

Access to the Mississippi River and Lake George boat launch and docks is typically March 15 to December 15 weather permitting.  Snow, ice, saturated road/ground conditions typically occurring in the spring require the District to close the access road to these areas.  Park hours, 6:00 AM - Dusk, apply to all of the Forest Preserve District's boat launch areas. Check Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Facebook page for updates.

In addition to its access to the Mississippi River from the northern boundary of the preserve, one of the main attractions of the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve is Lake George popular for canoeing, paddle boarding, boating, and fishing. Lake George is a 167 acre man-made lake which has a maximum depth of 55 feet. The lake is stocked with many varieties of fish, including bluegill, large mouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, and muskellunge. An Illinois fishing license from the State of Illinois is required for fishing on Lake George.  Illinois fishing licenses can be purchased online from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

  • Gas motors are not allowed on Lake George, electric trolling motors only.
  • Swimming is not allowed in Lake George or in the Mississippi River at Loud Thunder Forest Preserve.
  • No campfires on the lake shore are permitted.

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Concessions and Lake George Boat Rental

Concessions are available in the Park Office when the campground is open and to rent a boat you must check-in at the Park Office.  Enjoy boating on Lake George aboard jon boats, kayaks, canoes, small and large pontoons-Personal flotation devices are provide and included in the cost of rental. Picnic and camping supplies, tackle, bait or a quick snack is available in the Park Office.

Fishing licenses are not sold or available at the Park Office or Boat Rental launch area but can be purchased online from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Loud Thunder Forest Preserve Boat Rental 

19406 Loud Thunder Road
Illinois City, IL 61259
(309) 795-1040

Boat rental days and hours of operation for the 2021 season.
Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend, weather permitting, please call (309) 795-1040 for availability. The boat rental is open on Memorial Day, 4th of July & Labor Day.
Monday & Tuesday, closed
Wednesday - Sunday, 8:00AM - 7:00PM
     *Please note that no boats will be rented after 6:00PM

Boat rentals are a first come, first serve, 

No reservations.

Minimum of one hour rental for all boats, no prorating of hours is permitted.
Please call (309) 795-1040 if you have any questions. You must check in at the Park Office to rent a boat. Boat availability is based on a first come, first serve basis.

Boat Rental Price Listing

Minimum of one hour rental for all boats. 
Boats Available for Rent

16 Foot Jon Boats

Boat & Motor
$12.00 per hour
4 Hours $40.00
8 Hours $85.00


$10.00 per hour

2 Man Small Pontoon Boats

$15.00 per hour 
4 Hours $50.00
8 Hours $100.00

Seats a maximum of 4 people


Single $10.00 per hour
Two-person $12.00 per hour

Party Barges  

$30.00 per hour 
4 Hours $100.00
8 Hours $200.00

Seats a maximum of 8 people

Life Jackets

Will be provided for all users and should
be worn at all times when on Lake George
by all boat rental users.  Swimming in Lake
George is prohibited and loss of rental will
occur users are observed in violation of District