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Chicago's Full Downtown Riverwalk Is Now Open For All Your River-Walking Needs

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Oct 24, 2016 7:32PM

Photo via Chicagoist Flickr pool user Jim Watkins Street Photography

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's legacy almost certainly will not be public parks projects, but that hasn't stopped him from ushering a number of beloved new public parks into being. The most recent of these, the downtown Riverwalk, officially opened over the weekend, and thanks in part to the stellar weather we've been having, it looks good.

Chicagoans and out-of-towners can now take a riverfront public walkway from Lake Michigan to Lake Street, as the path curls around Upper Wacker Drive, with beautiful views of the downtown and River North high rises the whole way. The roughly 1.3-mile pathway features several public plazas where people can sit, a series of piers and floating wetland gardens and an access point to return to street level at Lake Street. We've already spotted some joggers taking advantage of the trail during the work day, and plenty of tourists. The path was constructed in three phases over the past year, and the new portion that just opened represented the final phase of construction.

Cyclists and people in wheelchairs can also use the Riverwalk by approaching from the lakefront or by taking an ADA-accessible ramp at the "River Theater" between Clark Street and LaSalle Street, or another ramp at Franklin Street.

The local transportation advocacy group the Active Transportation Alliance is campaigning for a major Riverwalk extension that would create a longer riverwalk for cyclists and pedestrians to take to the South and North sides.

A Chicago Redditor shared these gorgeous photos of the new path, below:

Chicago riverwalk