Off of 18th Street and on the Chicago River there’s a temple. And a playground. And some paths. Plus drinking fountains, trees, and grass.
This is Ping Tom Memorial Park. An oasis in a rather industrial part of the city. If you live in the West or South Loop this is a must-go running destination. Alternately, if you’d rather go do tai chi, yoga, meditate or just read a book on the banks of the river you can take the water taxi to the pagoda.
I’ve been here twice and both times found it to be incredibly peaceful, serene, and a breath of fresh air from the concrete jungle. To get there I take Halsted or Wabash to 18th. Turn south on Wentworth and then take the first right onto 19th Street. The park entrance is hidden at the back of the housing complex.
18th Street also has a wonderful bike lane so if you’re willing you can easily bike to the park as well.
This morning I ran to the park and included its paths as part of my almost 6 mile run. The water fountains are a wonderful amenity when you’re running! Admittedly, much of 18th Street isn’t the most scenic but in my mind it’s worth it for the respite this park gives. I took my running buddy along so she could experience it as well. “It’s like you’re in a nature preserve!” she exclaimed.
So, the next time you’re looking for a new place to run or relax, head over to Ping Tom Memorial Park. I promise you you’ll enjoy it.