Advice for Chicago River

It’s going to be a great summer, you can tell, this is my third time asking advice for a new trip.

This time I mainly need advice for parking in Chicago with access to the river, we’ve heard that can be a problem.

Several of us are planning an early August trip up north, one day to paddle the Chicago River, camp at Indiana Dunes a couple nights, and one day to paddle on the lake. I’ve paddled out of New Buffalo several times but never the Dunes or Michigan City.

Any suggestions on either section of the trip would be appreciated, especially the parking situation. I plan to take a kayak trailer if it’s feasible.

Thanks All!


Randy, check the link inside and
poke around the rest of the Chicagoland Canoe Base website. They have been very helpful and may even have guide pamphlets.

Put in here is easy

– Last Updated: Feb-06-10 5:17 PM EST –

3400 North Rockwell Street, Just by Lane Tech high school. big parking area and a short walk to the ramp to the put in. Safe area too for the car. Paddle here to the south about 5 miles will get you to downtown and the river access to the lake through the locks.

Greeting, I have paddled with CASKA (Chicago Sea Kayak Association) and we went for the lake paddle and departed from Rainbow beach to paddle around the water crib. The parking is free, however don’t leave anything expensive in the car as it’s not the greatest neighborhood. The paddle is nice and has a great view of the city from a different angle.

As for the river, I am unaware of the parking situation but there is a free boat ramp in Clark Park (Just south of West Addison and N. Rockwell). It’s a long paddle to downtown but it will save you the $15 launch fee from Kayak Chicago. There is free parking at Kayak Chicago however.

Thanks All !!!
You’ve been a big help as always.