It was a cold, bright November day, and I decided it was perfect for doing the Riverwalk. The weather was perfect: even though the temperature was a little below freezing, there was no wind and the sun was shining in abundance. I started out by walking to the Link Bridge, which is closest to Lake Michigan. Logically, you would think the river empties into Lake Michigan, and indeed, it used to do so. But ever since Chicago River was reversed in what was a major engineering feat in around the start of the 20th century, the river actually flows away from the gigantic lake - keeping it clear from the pollution the river used to carry into it.
After spending some time inside the Link Bridge, which I found to have some particular beauty with its strong iron structure, I descended to the Riverwalk proper, and started walking on the northern side. Here, I found a line of modern street lanterns, as well as the Centennial Fountain, which unfortunately does not spout water in winter. The fountain was erected in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the body that carried out the reversal of Chicago River. Here, I was still in the sun; the tall skyscrapers on both sides of the river would make that I did the rest of the walk in the shade.
Continuing downstream, I came across many parts of interest: the remarkable towers of Marina Park, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, several places to take a break, the spot where the worst disaster of Chicago took place in 1915, when a boat rolled over, killing 844 passengers, some great bridges, and some quiet corners of the Riverwalk where homeless people were taking a nap covered up in carton boxes. After a while, I reached The Bend, where Chicago River turns south. The Riverwalk somehow seems to stop here, so I returned again, walking the same way with a different angle and with the advantage of a little more sunlight. I started wondering how this walk would be in a different season - I will be back!
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Chicago Riverwalk (U.S.A.). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Chicago Riverwalk.
Read more about this site.