Have You Heard of The Great Loop?

  |   Boat & Breakfast, Marina, Starved Rock Country

“I had to talk her onto the boat. Now I can’t talk her off it!”- the typical looper.

Can you imagine voyaging through Canadian provinces and a minimum of 14 states on a one of a kind boating trip? This trip has sparked the imagination and has tested the resolve of Canadian and American boaters and nature enthusiasts. Organizations exist, such as the America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association (AGLCA), to help individuals plan their first trip through North America. Couples get quickly addicted to doing the Loop and to making memorable side trips along the way. Learn more about the Great Loop and why people are stopping at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.


What is The Great Loop?
Do you have a dream of navigating Ottawa’s waterways and making your way to the Great Lakes and down through America’s heartland? Then The Great Loop is just the ticket for you.

Boat owners looking forward to becoming an official “Looper” can boat through a continuous waterway and explore the Atlantic, Canadian Heritage Canals, the Great Lakes and more. While taking the trip, boaters can stop off and visit estuarine research reserves, national marine sanctuaries, Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, the Erie Canal and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Boaters may choose to start their trip from Chicago and sail south, eventually entering the Mississippi River. There are a number of ways to enter and exit the loop and many places to explore while traveling The Great Loop.


The Great LoopImage via The Great Loop


The Perfect Stop Along Your Journey
Sail the gentle waters of the Illinois River and stop off at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to enjoy a bite and a cold drink at their onsite restaurant, the Red Dog Grill, with year-round dining. Secure your boat at one of their more than 450 boat slips in their state-of-the-art marina, pick up those must-have necessities and take care of any surprise maintenance issues. Cottages and larger homes are available for rent or purchase in low maintenance communities and a prime recreational destination, Starved Rock County, is close by.


It does not take a luxury boat to make the 6,000 mile journey. If first time loopers need a break, stops like Heritage Harbor Ottawa provide the necessary comforts, supplies and tips to help boaters refuel and reenergize for the next leg of their trip. Heritage Harbor visitors can get detailed information about the Ottawa area and local businesses from a Heritage Harbor associate. Heritage Harbor Ottawa and the city of Ottawa provides access to grocery stores, laundry facilities, post offices and restaurants. Heritage Harbor Ottawa staff and local business owners often help boaters with specific requests, discounts or a drive back to the dock. Doing the Loop is an experience that often reveals the best in those around you.


Break from the routine and join the tight-knit group of boaters planning their next loop. Share stories of your journey with friends and family and reach out to us with any questions about the Ottawa area and a stay at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. Contact a friendly associate at Heritage Harbor at (815) 433-5000 for additional insights about our amenities, boat slips and vacation rentals today.