Monday, September 14, 2015

Chicago Biking: Northerly Island Park

I biked to a new park on Sunday on the lakefront south of downtown Chicago and the Museum Campus - Northerly Island Park.

Northerly Island Park is located on a peninsula on Lake Michigan, covering over 90 acres. The Northerly Island Nature preserve officially opened in early September, with more than 40 acres dedicated to native plantings and migratory birds. It's an absolutely beautiful place!

K and I visited the nature preserve for the first time on bikes, finishing a 25 mile round trip ride. The nature preserve also includes a one-mile trail with rolling hills and views of the skyline that can't be missed.

Northerly Island Park is accessible by bike south of Adler Planetarium. The park begins just east of Soldier Field {1521 S. Linn White Drive}. Metered parking is also available at Burnham Park, or you can take public transit via Museum Campus routes.

The park also holds a lakefront concert venue, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, offering a number of popular concerts. The 30th annual Farm Aid event takes place this coming weekend.

I took a ridiculous number of photos to capture the gorgeous skyline views and puffy clouds from Northerly Island. This park was originally the vision of the famous Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham. Northerly Island was one of the sites for Chicago's second World's Fair in 1933-1934. The park has since enjoyed a colorful history, but it's wonderful to see it transformed back to its original intent as parkland.

There is also a small, sandy lakefront beach on Northerly Island - 12th Street Beach. It was quiet except for a few sailboats on Sunday afternoon, probably because everyone else was watching the Chicago Bears game!

K and I were happy to realize that 12th Street Beach offers a nice rest area with a concession stand {tacos!} and a place to chill for a few minutes if needed. We had a snack and finished the rest of our long ride home.

Until next time Northerly Island...

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