We did 16 miles on day one, camped in Sheridan area, and then did 10 on day 2. Our put in point was the hydraulic road river access in Yorkville, just west of 47 and the dam. Our take out point was Ayer's landing. My friend had a friend with a trailer there, so we were able to park/leave a car there for free overnight.
Shortly after we setup camp, a group of 10 canoeists came and asked with they could stay. We told them to go ask the owner for permission, and were denied. I'm assuming that is because they were such a large group, but we didn't find out for sure.
In terms of campgrounds, there is also a farm with some woods/trails right after the entrance road to Sheridan on the north side of the river. It's worth checking out. Otherwise, there are some clearings that are reasonably accessible south of Sheridan.
-My rookie friend didn't pack an air mattress because he thought he didn't need one. He didn't sleep a wink, and was miserable the next day. always have an air mattress!
-There is a decent amount of poison ivy along the riverfront. Avoid leaves of 3, that are in an equilateral triangle shape.
-We saw two wrecked canoes at one point. Don't leave your boats too close to the water, because a flash flood can take them.
-The hottest point in the day is between 2-5. Some might think it's the midday overhead sun, but once that heat lingers for a few hours, it gets much hotter in the mid afternoon.
-I packed bug spray, fogger, citronella incense, off sticks, and a bug light. It took care of the mosquito problem pretty well. That and some smoke from the campfire.