Fishing is one great way to spend few hours by the Fox River. There is a variety of fish that you can catch, but the most popular ones are smallmouth bass, catfish, musky and walleye.
Equipment: you need to get a fishing license and you need to bring your own fishing pole and chair
This is the place to go to if you want to do some kayaking in the area. They also offer kayak classes for all levels. You can rent a kayak from there and start exploring the river.
For a single person kayak they charge $30 while for a 2+ days of rental you pay just $45 per day.
Check out their web site for more information: http://www.genevakayak.com/about/index.html
St Charles has several bike trails, but the nicest and the most well known one is The Great Western Trail. The trail is 18 miles long and it runs from St Charles to Sycamore. The trail is flat and it runs in parallel with route 64 (or North Ave) for a good 12 miles. You will pass by small streams and wetlands and you will also cross patches of native prairie. The first half of the trail provides lots of shadow, but the remaining half is pretty much open land.
Equipment: your bike, a hat to protect your head from the sun on the second part of the trail, and a bottle of water.
If you thought that skiing was something impossible to do close to St Charles, think twice! There is an option for skiing without going too far. And the place is called Villa Olimpia. It is the closest ski area for the chicagoans, therefore it is a very popular spot with the sky lovers. What is nice about it, is that this place is close to St Charles! Villa Olivia is located in Bartlett. They have not only skiing, but also snowboarding and snowtubbing during the winter months. During the summer, the resort provides a nice 18 holes golf course for the golf enthusiast.
Equipment: you can bring your own equipment, or you can rent one from there.
PACE Bus (which services the suburbs surrounding Chicago), offers an innovative way to take very long bike trips without having to pedal over the entire distance. Their buses have been equipped with fold-down racks, which mount up to two bikes to the front! The first time I used it, looking out through the windshield of the bus, and seeing my poor ol' Schwinn suspended in mid-air at highway speeds, was a fascinating experience in itself.
Equipment: Read the instructions for attaching and dismounting your bike carefully (printed on the racks) - you are responsible for any subsequent loss or damage, etc.