Wateriders 2022 Message
For our 26th season, Wateriders is excited to announce a new South side location and the launch of Wateriders’ Apex Pass, offering unlimited kayaking on the mighty Chicago River in an array of attractive seasonal paddling alternatives.
All Wateriders’ foundational adventures at Eastbank Club are back: Architectural/Historical and Ghosts & Gangsters Tours, Kayak Rentals, Fireworks paddles, Sunset and Moonlight paddles and Private Paddles will continue with hours of operation increased.
Two outlying locations, Rockwell (Northwest) and Bridgeport (South Side) will round out the paddling options and offer a truly resplendent variety of Good Green Fun ™.
Wateriders’ newest location, at Bridgeport Arts Center (1200 W. 35th Street) launches on Bubby Creek, a natural branch of the Chicago River whose improved environment will be enhanced further in a pending U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to encapsulate and contain the sediment, infused with decayed organic matter and the source, still, of an occasional “bubble” at the surface.
But Bubbly Creek today, as clean as the rest of the much-improved Chicago River, is a paddler’s playground paradise. Blue Heron and Painted Turtles are common sights and the creek’s meandering flow through bits of nature amid a surprisingly quiet urban infrastructure makes for a delightful outing. Bubby Creek connects to the Chicago River at a magnificent turning basin, site of the first dirt shoveled constructing the Illinois and Michigan canal. Adjacent lies the wonderful and informative Canal Origins Park. And, at our base, Bridgeport Arts Center, the Chicago Maritime Museum provides an unforgettable three dimensional experience of Chicago’s boating history that provides the basis for our new Maritime/Historical tour (available by kayak and electric boat).
At Wateriders’ Northwest, we will continue kayak rentals offering a similarly stunning and placid place to experience Chicago’s wildlife. At Wateriders Northwest, Metropolitan Brewing provides paddlers an opportunity to “convene” (post paddle!) and the building, Rockwell on the River, will soon feature a bakery and other food options on its huge outdoor riverfront plaza. Again, heron and turtles, warm Chicago weekends and a fantastic brewery have already made Rockwell a favorite launch spot for groups and individuals. Customers asked us about a possible season pass.
Now, with three locations, we are excited to announce Wateriders’ Apex pass. The Base Apex pass will be available at all three locations and offer unlimited paddling at each location for a full year. You asked, and, (finally) the software obliged! In addition, though, we are especially excited about the full Wateriders’ Apex Pass. That pass provides unlimited paddling at each location and unlimited one-way journeys from Downtown to Rockwell or Bridgeport, or from Rockwell or Bridgeport to downtown. And, each pass holder will be allowed to bring along multiple guests at a discount. We have modeled this pass after the successful season ski passes and are working to provide ever more paddling opportunities at lower cost.
We can’t wait to see you!
– Charlie Portis