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Clark Park to Ping Tom Memorial Park

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Clark Park to Ping Tom Memorial Park

Skill Level

Expert

Trail Length

8 Miles

Waterway Trail

Directions: Clark Park is located on the west side of Rockwell Street (2600 W), half a block south of Addison Street (3600 N) in Chicago. There is a small parking lot at the south end of the playing field. Follow the path from the parking lot to the river and canoe launch.

Notes: Chicago River Canoe and Kayak rents canoes and kayaks at Clark Park. Clark Park is also home to one of four city of Chicago boathouses designed to help revitalize Chicago’s riverfront.

Just past the Ashland Avenue bridge, on both sides of the Webster Street Bridge, is the Webster Street Aeration Station. Use caution when approaching and passing through the Aeration Station. Do not paddle in the aerated water. Aerated water can affect the buoyancy of both boats and people passing through it (for example boats can float lower in the water).

Just past the North Avenue Bridge, the river broadens into the North Avenue Turning Basin. Turn left (east) and enter the North Branch Canal (the channel on the east side of Goose Island). The Canal is the site of The Wild Mile, a floating park and community gathering space that has brought wildlife and positive energy to the river. Continuing downstream to the confluence of the North Branch, South Branch and Main Stem, follow the South Branch through the downtown area.

Just south of the 18th Street Bridge is the take out at Ping Tom Memorial Park, located at 300 W. 19th Street in Chicago’s Chinatown. The 12-acre Ping Tom Memorial Park offers many amenities including a playground and community gathering areas. A boat ramp once available at the park has been removed as of 2022, but access is permissible at a staircase leading into the river near the north end of the park.

If you’re looking for a shorter trip along this section of the river, Kayak Chicago allows paddlers to launch and take out from their dock for a small fee. Kayak Chicago is located at 1501 N. Magnolia with a dock on the North Avenue Turning Basin.

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