Chicago Gets Nationally-Designated Kayak Trail

By:  James Langton
NBC Chicago

A stretch of the Chicago lakefront is now a nationally designated canoe and kayaking trail.

The 75-mile segment of the Lake Michigan National Water Trail connects Chicago to New Buffalo Michigan.

"What the department of interior is trying to do is to create an access point for average people who don’t have to be the richest people in the world, don’t have to own a yacht, to be out there on this lake and to appreciate it," said Sen. Dick Durbin at Thursday’s official announcement.

He used the backdrop of Northerly Island to include Chicago among 41 new National Recreation Trails across the country.

“I used to come to this spot, usually sitting in an airplane. But now we can approach it in different ways. This Lake Michigan Water Trail gives us a chance to do it," he said.

It’s part of a larger plan backed by President Obama that would connect shoreline trails across the entire lake. “The first 75-miles are just the beginning,” Durbin said.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has a list of the 41 new trails on its website at