Unprecedented efforts to clean up the Chicago River in recent decades are improving water quality, restoring wildlife habitats, increasing the number of species that call it home, and making the river more accessible and inviting for all.
The Chicago River is now cleaner than it has been for more than a century, leading some residents to ask when they’ll be able to dive in.
The Chicago Park District now boasts more than 600 acres of parks along the river, and in 1999, city regulations began requiring all new non-industrial riverside developments to keep at least 30 feet along the river’s edge accessible to the public.
There are myriad ways to explore the river and its shoreline – by boat, on foot, on a bike, or with a fishing rod in your hand. There are opportunities to learn, to sit back and take in the sights, or to volunteer your time and energy for the continued improvement of the river and its banks.
Below are just a few, organized by type of activity. You can filter the locations by selecting the icon on the top left of the map and selecting your preferred activities.
Don’t see one of your favorite spots listed here? Tweet it to us or write a Facebook post with the hashtag #WTTWriver and we’ll add it to the list.
Several other organizations have created activity-specific guides with more detail on: