The Des Plaines River begins in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, and flows south into Illinois as a small, shallow prairie stream. It runs approximately 95 miles through four counties in Illinois to its confluence with the Kankakee River at Channahon where the two form the Illinois River.
Native Americans called it "Sheshikmaoshike Sepe" or "full of water." The unlikely reference is to the sap-filled maple trees along many river banks.
The river is a quiet, family-friendly river where canoeists share the river with cormorants, egrets, great blue heron and several kinds of water-loving rodents.