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4 Best Places to Ride Jet Skis in Illinois

Have you ever wondered where you can launch your jet ski and go riding this weekend? I’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Places that give you some escape from the challenges of the modern world. After all, that’s why we own jet skis! We want to both escape, explore and power through the tough stuff.

One big problem I found when I got into jet ski riding is that no one was really sharing places where I could launch and ride within the hour. With this site, I decided to aim to solve that genuine issue. Through filtering through hours of articles and Facebook discussions, I was able to reach this conclusion.

Jet Ski owners in Illinois generally ride here:

1. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is certainly a favorite for those living in Illinois and surrounds. If you’re looking to experience the city in the proper way, then this is something not to be missed.

Now if the city lights aren’t your thing, then here are numerous beaches that you can pull up to for a break or even some exploring. Some individuals even find a good campsite to stay the entire weekend with some buddies towing tubes and waterskiers.

2. Illinois River

Now there are numerous places where you can explore along the Illinois River. I’d actually recommend a GPS to keep track of where you are and the distances between each waypoint.

You’ll find that there are numerous group rides here during the year organized by the Chicago jet ski owners club. The waters are very calm and don’t suffer from the swell of the bigger lakes and waterways. This really does make them idea for towing children on the back of tubes if you’re not into fast speeds and chasing down others.

3. Chain O’Lakes State Park

For a different experience, aim for the Chain O’Lakes State Park. You’ll find plenty of spaces to ride but also plenty of spaces to explore which can only be accessed on the water.

The scenery here is just…stunning! There’s little wonder where there are several pontoon boat and jet ski hire companies here. Best part? You don’t need a licence for a rental! You can hire by the hour and have a passenger on the rear too, though tubing isn’t permitted for rentals.

4. Pistakee Lake

The last on my list of recommendations does happen to be one of the best. Pistakee Lake is not just a haven for jet ski riding but you’ll also find some excellent fishing and camping opportunities.

After a long, hard day of riding and towing tubes, you can throw a line in the water while getting the fire going. The lake isn’t the biggest…yet is big enough to find some space for youself.

Getting Started

There you have it! 4 fantastic options to either ride your own jet ski or hire one from one of the numerous businesses. IL is certainly a haven for outdoor sports and doesn’t disappoint jet ski riders at all, whether locals or those visiting from out of state.

Then again, you might want to aim to head 2 to 3 hours out of town. There is are so many other freshwater lakes and rivers to explore. “Why do the same spot twice?” is what I like to say. Illinois is so spoilt in that it can avoid much of the salt water corrosion.

Catch you out there!

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Joshua Smith - Editor of

As the editor, I started this resource to share my knowledge of jet ski ownership globally. When I’m not out there riding, I’m engaging with industry trends and eagerly awaiting the development of electric jet skis.

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