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“Great for group outings, families, couples, or solo. ”

Chicago River Canoe & Kayak
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed February 24, 2016 via mobile

I've always loved kayaking in rural areas. When I decided to look for a location near home, I hit the "urban-nature" jackpot with this one.

Along this route you won't get to see skyscrapers, but instead a more peaceful side of Chicago. I've taken multiple trips, sometimes only as far as Montrose and others as far as Argyle. Each time I've been impressed with the solitude the Chicago river has to offer. It's surprisingly quiet on this part of the river.

I've seen beavers, geese, ducks, and huron while kayaking this way. A large stretch of this part of the river is surrounded by parks and forest, many areas I was unaware of before I started taking these trips.

I wouldn't recommend getting too cozy with the water here, and there is a fair share of graffiti....but the mix of city and nature is actually quite breathtaking.

I've heard that kayaking closer to the loop can get quite busy and touristy, but I've never once had that experience here. Nature lovers should check it out.

1  Thank l0ngbottomleaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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.

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

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