Chicago Riverwalk reopens: here’s what you need to know

Chicago Riverwalk reopens: here’s what you need to know

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the long-awaited reopening the Chicago Riverwalk.

Following the latest data and based upon guidance from public health experts, City officials believe the Riverwalk can safely reopen and operate throughout the summer months.

With special restrictions, of course.

Here’s what you need to know:

Entrance points: The Riverwalk will be accessible through limited access points at Lake Street and through ADA compliant ramps between Franklin and Lake Street and State and Columbus streets. All entrances will be guarded by attendants.

Limited guests: The  number of people entering the Riverwalk will be restricted to ensure capacity limits are not exceeded.

Social distancing: Riverwalk Ambassadors will monitor the space between visitors to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Hours: The Riverwalk will between the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will be closed briefly at 10:00 a.m. to allow for cleaning.

Face coverings: All persons using the Riverwalk and its facilities will be required to wear a face covering in accordance with public health guidance.

Designated hours: Hours will be designated for special activities.

  • Recreation: The operational hours for recreational activities are between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. During the recreational hours, those using the Riverwalk will be able to run, jog, walk and bike along the path between Lake Shore Drive and Lake Street. 
  • Food: The hours for concessions will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  Dining will be available by reservation in order to maintain social distancing and manage crowds.
  • Reservations: In order to make a reservation everyone is encouraged to contact the establishment directly. All reservations will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis and ADA access will be available upon request when reservations are being made.
  • Passive recreation: During 11am-9pm. time frame limited passive recreation will be allowed in specified areas. The paths will be blocked at the under bridges between LaSalle and Columbus and users should use stairways.

Riverwalk Concession Vendors accessible by access points:

  • Tiny Tapp & Café- West Dearborn
  • City Winery – East Dearborn
  • Chicago Brewhouse- West Wabash Stairway
  • Beat Kitchen and Community Marketplace West Michigan Avenue
  • Chicago’s First Lady and Mercury Sightseeing Cruises East Michigan
  • Urban Kayaks, Island Party, The Northman- Columbus
  • O’Briens’s Riverwalk Cafe East Wabash

Limited passive recreation areas: • Lake Street and LaSalle Street- Access at Lake Street, ADA ramp between Franklin and Lake or East LaSalle Street. • Vietnam Veterans Memorial- Use State Street ADA ramp • Michigan Plaza- Use West Michigan Avenue- this will also allow access to the Community Marketplace vendors. • Columbus Plaza- Use Columbus Stairs • Sweet Home Gelato- West LaSalle Street

For more information about the Riverwalk please visit

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