Rockwell on the River (Open Wednesday - Sunday!)
Wateriders is excited to announce that for 2020, our 24th season, Chicago River paddlers will now have the option of kayaking in the placid waters of the North Branch at Rockwell on the River, 3057 North Rockwell, just south of Belmont Avenue.
Unlike the bustle and excitement of downtown’s dazzling buildings and crowded Riverwalk, Wateriders’ new outpost offers a chance to unwind and enjoy an urban forest bath amidst the trees, birds, and occasional turtles enjoying the revitalized river’s reemerging biodiversity.
Rockwell on the River is an event space and retail/entertainment/office development housing Metropolitan Brewing’s stunning brewpub and patio, Metropolis Coffee’s roastery, a craft distillery and more. Event planners can now add a group paddle to the myriad of options available for weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more. Wateriders has also partnered with Chicago Electric Boat Company to provide a mixed fleet of human and electric powered Good Green Fun!
A kayak journey in and around Belmont offers respite from the city. The light glimmering off the gently bending stream immerses the paddlers in a peaceful glide through this majestic, urban ecosystem. We are so excited to offer our customers another way to recreate and enjoy the mighty Chicago River. Contact us to book a spot today!
Services Provided at Wateriders Northwest Include:
Single and double kayaks available for rent at hourly rates. Rentals are available available seven days a week. All rentals will be for a prepaid time of two hours beginning mid-June 2020.
Morning Rentals “Kayak Klatsch”: Enjoy a morning paddle at Rockwell (starting before 10 AM) and enjoy a cup of Metropolis Coffee, and 12 oz of fresh roasted beans, on us!
One-Way Rentals (Coming Soon): Adventurous paddlers will now, for the first time, be able to complete a one-way, five-mile paddle from Wateriders Northwest to Downtown (Eastbank Club), or vice versa. One-way excursions are recommended for experienced paddlers looking for a new urban adventure. And, as both Wateriders locations are adjacent to Divvy bike-share stops and near public transport, the one-way kayak trip can become part of a day-long adventure—more Good Green Fun for 2020.
Paddlers will be able to go from our northwest to our downtown location on a one-way basis.
Rates: For all one-way rentals, the rate will be 2.5 times the hourly rate for the boat rented. Renters are free to keep the boat longer, but on average, 2.5 hours will allow for a one-way journey with plenty of time to meander at the beginning, middle, or end of the adventure. And guests can pay the 2.5-hour fee and keep the boat for as long as they desire.
From Wateriders’ Northwest location, paddlers can also head north and paddle the North Shore Channel to Wilmette Harbor/Bahai Temple at Lake Michigan (boats may not be carried to the lake) and return the boat to Northwest. The one-way option offers those seeking a longer trip the ability to craft their own experience.
Rates Northwest: $40/two hours per person
A single, one-way kayak paddle is $50 (2.5 x $20). The city of Chicago rental tax is additional.
Logistics: Experienced paddlers, in the judgment of Wateriders’ guides, will have the opportunity to enjoy a one-way kayak. For every one-way group:
- Guests will have at least one cell phone in a Ziploc or drybag with a number registered at the departure location.
- A deposit hold of $500 per boat will be placed upon a credit card until the kayak is returned.
- Kayaks are equipped with trackers and guests must stay on the river and only exit the boat at designated locations. No kayak may be taken off the river except for emergencies.
- One-way renters may also return the kayak to their departure location.
Groups of paddlers will also enjoy these guided excursions at sunset. Check the schedule for availability.
At Wateriders Downtown, we look forward to working with you to tailor a group outing at Wateriders Northwest. Our dock sits directly below Metropolitan Brewing’s magnificent Taproom and outdoor deck (food is available via a delivery app, beer post-paddling please). The building is also home to one of Chicago’s finest event spaces, Rockwell on the River, with its exquisite indoor and outdoor spaces. We can also work with groups that want a combination of kayaks and electric boats, through our alliance with Chicago Electric Boat Company. Please note that no groups larger than nine can go private tours (the tenth person is the guide). Visit our Private Tour page for more information and booking.
Friends of the Chicago River Summer Challenge
On June 25 and 26, Wateriders will donate all rental proceeds at their new location at Rockwell on the River to Friends of the Chicago River! Anyone who purchases a ticket on one of those days will be automatically granted a Friends Membership.
Volunteers who pick up litter while kayaking as part of the Summer Challenge will receive the volunteer rate of $20. When making your online reservation, use the discount code: Volunteers.
Throughout the summer, Wateriders will continue to offer $20 rentals for participants in the Summer Challenge. Friends’ members will also receive a 20% discount on rentals during summer, use the discount code “Friends” when making your reservation.
To ensure proper social distancing, all rentals need to be reserved ahead of time at Wateriders.