River Park Boathouse, located west of the river is home to the Chicago RIverLab, and the Chicago Park District's family paddling programs. An accessible boat launch for human-powered craft is available for public use at no charge. When launching from River Park, please park on the street and carry your paddle craft to the launch. Vehicles may not use the bike path for loading or unloading.

For information on paddling the Chicago River, check out the excellent paddling guide [click here] created by our partner, Openlands.

For questions about the RiverLab and upcoming public programming, please email

The American Canoe Association has created multiple resources [click here]to help paddlers get started safely on the water. 

Highlight of River Park - RiverLab and River Adventures


Map & Facilities

River Boathouse

5100 N. Francisco Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
United States