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experience the river on the north side

This is a great are to see wildlife in the city and a great number of people living here don't even... read more

Reviewed August 20, 2017
Chicago, Illinois
Wildlife in the Urban Jungle

Took two of the kids for a last-minute kayak trip on a cool but sunny Sunday afternoon. A quick... read more

Reviewed May 7, 2017
Peter O
via mobile
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Reviewed August 8, 2015

Ditch the tourists and enjoy the North Branch of the Chicago River with the locals. The office of Chicago River Canoe & Kayak is housed in the new WMS Boathouse designed by Chicago architect, Jeanne Gang (www.rowchicago.com/clarkpark). We biked over on Thursday afternoon, without reservations. Situated just west of DeVry Institute, there s no street signage to guide you. Just walk/bike between the boathouse buildings.

Two lovely college students, Nate and Brett outfitted us with life jackets, kayaks/paddles and directed us north where the river banks are green and home to large turtles, cranes, herons, geese & ducks. And, though the water quality is far from potable (posted warnings remind river goers not to drink from or wade in the water), and the banks often neglected and graffitied, the river is indeed home to lots of wildlife. It is also surprisingly quiet.

We leisurely paddled north (upstream), just beyond Montrose (4400N). Took us about 70 minutes or so. Then, turned and floated downstream back to the dock. No need for a guide - though they offer guided tours - and certainly no skill or fitness required.

It is really impossible to get lost in Chicago and the river is no different. Each overpass is labeled with the street and hundred block, so you can monitor your progress. Bikers and walkers on the bridges will chat and offer directions if you need.

On a warm August day in Chicago, this outing is a cool, breezy bit of nature. Located just west of Roscoe Village, there are lots of great shops and restaurants just blocks east, for after kayaking fun.

Date of experience: August 2015
Thank Susan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2016 via mobile
Google Translation

Date of experience: August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.