Bodies of Water in Chicago

THE 5 BEST Chicago Bodies of Water

Bodies of Water in Chicago

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    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
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Nature & Parks
Nature & Parks
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7 places sorted by traveller favourites

What travellers are saying

  • Marilyn M
    Lincoln City, OR181 contributions
    Our hotel was on the Chicago River so we had plenty of time to observe the river. Night time gives the city a lovely setting. Day time offers the River Walk, tour information on the river's history and the location and dimensions of the original fort.
    Written 9 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • yuanwai
    Chicago, IL233 contributions
    A Frank Lloyd Wright inspired garden, in the middle of the city, by the lake. Just a fantastic place to visit and sit around. One of the quintessential part of Chicago!
    Written 6 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,132 contributions
    Bubbly Creek is the nickname given to the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River that was made famous--or infamous--in 1906 when author Upton Sinclair wrote an unflattering portrait of America's meatpacking industry in his best-selling book The Jungle. At the time, as Sinclair so dramatically pointed out, all the drainage, waste, blood and entrails from the square mile of the meat packing houses near Chicago's Union Stockyards emptied into Bubbly Creek, turning it into a great open sewer. It originates near 38th Street, at the Racine Avenue Pump Station of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, then flows in a generally northward direction for about 6,600 feet before joining with the South Branch of the Chicago River. It marks the boundary between the Bridgeport and McKinley Park communities. Why Bubbly Creek? As Sinclair pointed out, the grease and filth and chemicals and carbonic gases that bubbled out of the riverbed from the decomposition of blood and entrails underwent all sorts of strange transformations. Today, the creek is largely stagnant and has been designated for recreational use. The Chicago Maritime Museum, which memorializes Chicago's river and maritime heritage, is located on 35th Street adjacent to Bubbly Creek.
    Written 13 December 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • McWett
    Las Vegas, NV1,492 contributions
    First saw it from the roof top bar of the Lincoln Hotel. A beautiful setting that makes you want to experience its grandeur.

    Very calming it gives you a walk in nature while surrounded by skyscrapers. Like finding Walden Pond.
    Written 13 September 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ImmerWandern
    Palos Heights, IL7,238 contributions
    This was our first visit here. We had read of the abundance of waterfowl at Wolf Lake. Most of the lake was frozen over and, at first glance, there did not seem to be much to see. Canada geese grazed on the scant winter grass by the visitors’ center. We drove north past the boat ramp, past the railroad tracks and onto the the elevated roadway along the Illinois-Indiana border to the edge of the. Wolf Lake Industrial Center. We passed several hunting blinds along the way; waterfowl hunting takes place during the fall. There was a fairly large opening in the ice where we spotted a couple of Canada geese, a few Common Goldeneyes and a pair of Mute swans. Then we noticed that the south end of Wolf Lake was had an even larger area of open water that was teeming with birds.

    We drove back all the way to the southernmost parking lot. The open water was still quite a distance from where we stood, and the required the use of spotting scopes, binoculars or powerful zoom lenses to view the waterfowl. There were two species of swans, the common Mute swan (orange bills) and the Trumpeter swan (black bills). There were Canada geese, Herring gulls, and we also spotted a Bald eagle gliding in lazy circles high in the sky. Several duck species spotted: Mallard, Common mergansers, Redhead, Canvasback, Common goldeneye. There were several other birdwatchers with us on the edge of the lake taking in those views.

    This is a state recreational area. Boating and fishing are popular warm-weather activities, apparently. Ice-fishing is possible during winter; there was nobody out on the ice during our visit. The fish found in Wolf Lake include largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid muskie, and yellow perch. Hunting, as mentioned, takes place in the fall. Of course there are hiking trails.

    We will definitely be back in a few months when the spring migration is in full swing.
    Written 27 February 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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