Local Diving

The staff at Toucan Dive visit a variety of unique dive locations throughout the midwest. Some locations are a short ride away, but most of the time we schedule mini-vacations during a long weekend to really get the opportunity to enjoy all the diving the location has to offer.

If you have any questions concerning these destinations, stop by the dive center and we’ll tell you all about these fun dive spots.

Pearl Lake

Local Diving at Pearl Lake

Pearl Lake is one of Toucan Dive’s favorite local dive destinations. Called by many, “The French Riviera of the Midwest!” It’s location is an hour west from the dive shop, and because of its close proximity, is the perfect destination for certifying divers. It’s also close enough for divers looking to sharpen their dive skills, and still be back home in time for supper. The facility has a restaurant, bar, a swimming beach with supervision for non divers, as well as camping for those who would like to stay for the weekend. For divers, there are myriads of underwater attractions to enjoy, including a 40′ trawler, submarine, school bus, airplane, and much more.

Toucan Dive stays on the north side of the lake, at Toucan Beach, where we’ve designed, built, and placed our own 2-tiered diving platform for training.

Many of the Toucan Flock like to make our stay at Pearl Lake a mini vacation! And there is no place else more fun on a Saturday night than to group up with your fellow divers for dinner, and a little karaoke, and fun, afterwards, at Patty’s Road Dawg Pub, at the Rodeway Inn in Beloit. Toucan Dive always has a block of rooms for its divers. For accommodations, make sure to ask for your Toucan Dive discount!


Haigh Quarry

Haigh Quarry is about two hours south of Toucan Dive, in the city of Kankakee.  This means a diver can drive to the quarry, have a great day of diving, and still get home by the late afternoon.  Haigh Quarry is a beautiful, rock lake that requires divers, on most portions of the lake, to do a giant stride entry, off the special dive platforms to enter the water.  From there, there are beautiful walls with schools of bluegill so thick, they can literally block out the sun!  Haigh Quarry is also the home to big albino catfish, and the prehistoric spoonbill otherwise known as the paddlefish.  Divers have seen the visibility up to 100 ft.  Needless to say, this place is a awesome place to go diving.


Mermet Springs

For a wonderful weekend of diving, Mermet Springs offers some of the best diving in the Midwest! Located near Paducah, KY, just across the border in Metropolis, Il, Mermet Springs is a six and half hour ride from Lake County.

The staff at Mermet Springs is awesome! They are very helpful, safety conscious, and they know how to show Toucan Dive a great time!!!

  • Mermet Springs has sheltered pavilions
  • Mermet Pavilions have changing tables and are lighted
  • Mermet has heated changing rooms
  • Mermet has running water with hot showers
  • Mermet has many underwater training platforms
  • Mermet has many underwater attractions
  • Mermet is the home of the 727 Jet liner from the movie U.S. Marshals
  • Mermet Springs has lots of fish including schools of Spoonbill

Divers prepare to plunge into the 58 degree water at Bonne Terre Mine.

Bonne Terre Mine

Come with Toucan Dive and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”! Divers come from all over the world to dive Bonne Terre Mine! This incredible attraction is only six hours away from Chicago! This well lit underground lake has the visibility of a 100 feet plus, and the structure of the mine and all its contents is something to see!

“Indiana Jones” underwater, is how one diver described it. Mammoth architecture, calcium falls, oar carts, scaffolding, grating, staircases, pillars, slurry pipes, a famed elevator shaft, among other things.

Bonne Terre Mine, a national historic site, is the world’s largest fresh water dive resort. Water conditions remain constant with over 100 foot visibility, Sights include: mammoth architecture, guaranteed year round diving conditions. Cal falls, oar carts, scaffolding, grating, staircases, pillars, slurry pipes, the famed elevator shaft, and much more. Bonne Terre Mine is without a doubt one of the most unusual, beautiful, and relaxing full service dive resorts anywhere. Your accommodations located In the rolling foot hills of the Ozark mountains are elegant at the nearby 1909 Depot, or if you prefer a more casual atmosphere, the Divers Lodge, located at the Mine.

Lake Wazee

Lake Wazee is located about three and one half hours north of Toucan Dive, near Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  The lake has fantastic visibility and goes to depths of 355 feet, making this lake the deepest in Wisconsin.

Water temperatures run from approximately 70 degrees surface temperatures to 40 degrees below the thermocline. The thermocline depth varies during summer, but averages about 30 feet. Divers who venture to greater depths will encounter a second thermocline at approximately 60 feet where the temperature drops to a chilly 34 degrees. Use of a quality dry suit (with proper training) is recommended for deep diving in the lake. Although all machinery was removed from the quarry upon its closure, remnants of the mining operation still remain visible underwater.