Friday, June 19, 2009

Burnham-Marquette Water Trail

Burnham Marquette Water Trail map
route at the southern tip of Lake Michigan
from various sources

More than two dozen kayaks braved wind, rain, and cold to paddle the big lake from Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana. It seemed more like March than June.

The event was a part of The Burnham Plan Centennial Green Legacy Projects, a group of projects illustrating the Chicago Region’s “green infrastructure” of interconnected greenways, biking and hiking trails, waterways, wetlands, parks, forest preserves and native plant vegetation. It was spearheaded by the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA) and the Illinois Paddling Council (IPC). The 32-hour Burnham to Marquette Water Trail Expedition was one of the events marking the centennial of the 1909 Plan of Chicago -- often called the Burnham Plan -- named for the famous urban planner and architect Daniel Burnham.

Just a month ago the expedition would have been illegal. The Chicago Park District in early June changed rules and formally approved 11 points for water-trail access.

Burnham Marquette Water Trail kayakers
kayakers on the expedition (from the Flikr slide show)

Dan Plath of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association had a vision of pulling off a bi-state, two-day Burnham to Marquette Water Trail Expedition. The idea was a logistical nightmare, but has turned out to be one of the most publicized, well organized, successful, and eye opening events of the summer. His ultimate dream is a water route that would encircle the entire lake.

See North West Indiana Paddling Association for more information and the complete slide show
See Chicago Tribune story
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See Get Off The Couch

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