With my own kayak, making trips up and down the Chicago River is pretty easy. I store my kayak with Kayak Chicago and essentially have access to the river during all daytime hours. Its a nice way to blow off some steam after work.
|Kayaking the Chicago River
Kayaking the Chicago river is a delightful novelty. Sure, it isn't like kayaking the San Juan Islands or Mississippi River, but it is unique. I've kayaked the Chicago River before but this time I had my own boat.
Living in downtown Chicago is an exercise in small space management. With scarcely greater than 700ft to most residences, there isn't exactly enough space to keep a 16.5ft touring kayaking in one's apartment. Hence, I store my boat with Kayak Chicago which actually offers reasonable rates for such things. My biggest stressor in moving to Chicago was solved- boat storage.
Another advantage of this is being able to hit the Chicago River after work. When I have a short day like I did, it makes for an unusual way to get some exercise in the afternoon. I pushed off just North of Goose Island
|Kayaking around Goose Island
What many don't realized about the Chicago River is that it is an actual river with plenty of natural features and life. Downtown, this might not be evident but Goose Island is just a mile and a half away from the main branch and I saw lots of wildlife, including this massive snapping turtle-
|Snapping turtle on the Chicago River
As I paddle further south, towards the center of town, the flora was replaced by Chicago's famous architecture. I've done the architecture tours before which are actually less touristy than I would have imagined. That background did help with identifying all the buildings. They did look more impressive when viewed from a kayak. There were some sections that were so crowded with boat traffic that it felt like I was in rapids. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the curious onlookers from the tour boats and riverwalk. I paddled on though the urban canyon.
|Wolf Point, perhaps the most scenic point on the Chicago river's kayaking tour
|All the famous buildings came in to view
I paddled all the way down to Roosevelt street and turned around to the gorgeous view I had in the first picture. I'll always prefer natural vistas and mountain landscapes but nobody can deny that Chicago has picturesque skyline.
At just an hour and a half paddle, I think the timing was just right for a post-work workout. Wish I could do this every day!
Read. Plan. Get Out There!