The boathouse at Park 571. Photo by Gerri Fernandez

Park 571 is located along the South Branch of the Chicago River, right where Bubbly Creek splits off to the south.  This water-based recreational park contains a launch spot for canoes and kayaks, and a two-building boathouse facility designed by local celebrity architect Jeanne Gang. Quest Biscuit, a tour agency, offers group and private tours by canoe, kayak, and boat. You can explore the river, try restaurants, see exclusive places, or find hidden nature spots. The boathouse is home to several local rowing clubs, and also offers yoga sessions and year-round rowing via “erg” machines which simulate the action of rowing.

Park 571 is a great spot for river fishing and bird watching. If you don’t believe me, believe the kingfisher—a migratory bird who shows up just to get a meal. There are a number of neighborhood swimming birds who call this park home—I saw a mother goose raise her goslings and came back a month later to see them all grown up. Any ametuer fisherman can easily cast a rod and get a bite or just stop by the park to watch boats go by, read a book, picnic, or just go for a walk. The Loomis Street bridge overlooks the park from the north, where you can find artwork by local artists as you walk over it and the Duck Inn is nearby.

Park 571, 2828 S. Eleanor St.

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