A hidden gem in Chicago is Clark Park. Mr. Dottie discovered this park while running, tucked behind an awful strip mall-parking lot development. The park includes a baseball field, forest preserve and kayak rental to flow down the river – if you don’t mind the signs warning you not to make skin contact with the water. The best feature of the park is the bike trail, especially the section with “sweet” jumps for mountain and bmx bikers. The area shown below is tucked in the woods and has a secret garden feel to it.
After some Googling, I discovered that the park sits on the grounds of the former Riverview Amusement Park (1904-1967), which for a time was “the world’s largest amusement park, with a massive roller coaster, a double ferris wheel, a tunnel of love, a water slide, a parachute drop, and carnival games of skill and chance, among many other things.” How cool is that? Very. Chicago is full of little treasures like this, waiting to be discovered.