Located in the Albany Park area, near Horner Park, is one of my favorite hidden gems in Chicago. Nestled between the Chicago river, and some residential buildings, is a beautiful trail filled with Illinois native plants. If you are looking for a fun hike to do within city limits, I definitely recommend visiting the area.
Check out this beginner friendly hiking spot within the city that allows you to feel like you have driven so much further. Surround yourself with gorgeous Illinois native plants, the sound of birds and fresh air this weekend. Here is more information about visiting Riverbank Neighbors Park in Chicago, Illinois:
Riverbank Neighbors Park in Chicago, Illinois
Riverbank Neighbors Park is a gorgeous park located along Horner Park and the North Branch of the Chicago River. This woodlined area is completely surrounded by Illinois native plants and has been maintained by the good people of the neighborhood. (Thank you so much!) From what began as an environmental passion with a few individuals grew much bigger to a gorgeous trail of neighbors willing to share this hidden gem with you.
This intimate trail allows you to weave closer to the river’s edge and along native plants that makes you to forget that you’re in the middle of a big city like Chicago. The 1 to 2 other groups of people that I came across were all kind, quick to get by and were conscious with their trail etiquette. Maintaining a great trail will allow us to keep this gem for as long as possible.
Safety Near Riverbank Neighbors Park
Regardless of where you are safety is always something to consider. I praise this trail because of how intimate and secluded it is, but those are the very things that allow anything to happen. Along the trail neighbors have signs insinuating that they have cameras and are always watching (to deter littering) and that made me feel a bit safer. No matter who you are, I recommend visiting this trail during the daytime so you can clearly see your surroundings.
A bit of the Chicago River as I walk the trail Riverbank Neighbors Park. You can see a bit of the natural path way as well as the wooden fence that protects some of the Illinois native plants.
Parking Near Riverbank Neighbors Park
This trail is behind a residential area and parking is located within the residential area. You can find parking for free along the blocks that line the trail. Every block and leads into the trail which allows you to begin at any portion and complete your loop.
As a reminder to make sure that nothing valuable is visible from the outside of your vehicle. It should be known that if you are parking your vehicle within the city, you may run into some opportunists.
Accessibility of Riverbank Neighbors Park
The entrance is very steep and the trails (& steps) are uneven. Although there are railings, it is mainly to protect the Illinois native plants not sturdy enough for weight. I did see someone on the trail with a stroller, but it was a hiking stroller with thicker and bigger wheels. Keep this in mind if mobility may be an obstacle for you.
This trail is extremely beginner friendly because you don’t need to go very far to enjoy the view. At the end of every block is a viewpoint of the Chicago River and the additional trail could be for your own enjoyment.
A gorgeous and natural stairway along the trail at Riverbank Neighbors Park. The rocky stairway is surrounded by gorgeous greenery, and really allows you to forget that you’re in the middle of the city.
Gear Worth Taking
Although you’re in the middle of the city, please remember that this is a green area filled with Illinois native plants so you may need a few supplies for the walk hike. Although you can totally visit this small trail without any issues, the assistance of additional items may just allow you to stay more comfortably. Here are a few accessories that I was carrying and that you should pack to have fun while hike through Riverbank Neighbors Park:
If you’re interested in seeing more fun, free and unique things to do in Chicago (and wherever else I travel) follow me on Instagram. I’m hoping to keep sharing budget friendly adventures to help inspire you to travel more frequently. It definitely recommend you stop by Riverbank Neighbors Park and all of the other gems that Chicago has to offer.