About Us

The Chicago River Rowing & Paddling Center (CRRPC) provides the resources and managed access necessary for rowers and paddlers to enjoy the extraordinary urban waterway known as the Chicago River.

In addition to direct access to the River via CRRPC’s dock, which is a stop on the National Water Trail, CRRPC provides the amenities, technical support, and equipment needed to enable the frequent and safe enjoyment of rowing and paddling on the Chicago River, and paddling on Lake Michigan.

CRRPC was, in fact, the first organization to make daily recreational use of the Chicago River and establish direct access to the River for human-powered craft. (See “History” below). CRRPC remains the premier facility for rowing, canoeing and kayaking on the Chicago River, as well as the first truly “green” point of access to the River, located within easy walking distance of ten of thousands of downtown residents, workers and tourists.

CRRPC resources and managed access benefit the broader community as well as its own membership. CRRPC partners with other prominent civic and community organizations to promote the balanced and environmentally sensitive development of the Chicago River, its shoreline and associated park lands, and to facilitate group paddling tours and other paddling oriented festivities on the River, providing dock access, amenities, and parking. CRRPC’s dock is a stop on the National Water Trail.

Although the water sport of primary interest to CRRPC members is the type of rowing known as “sculling,” its members also include paddlers who pursue the water sports of canoeing and kayaking. While rowing is confined to the protected water of the Chicago River, paddling members also enjoy quick access from CRRPC’s dock to the open water of Lake Michigan.

The typical CRRPC member is between 16 to 70 years old and lives and/or works within walking, running or biking distance of the Boating Center. Some members row and paddle purely for relaxation and/or general fitness, while others pursue these water sports more intensely, training for local, regional, national and international rowing and paddling competition.

CRRPC is a participant in USRowing’s annual National Learn to Row Day, and host organization of signature regattas, including the Iron Oars Marathon™, the Chicago Regatta (Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race), and the Chicago International Rowing Regatta™ (featuring Olympic and U.S. National Team athletes).