When visiting North Ave Beach, whether it is in the hot summer or dead of winter, the best path to continue down is to head over the North Ave Bridge, cross through Lincoln Park and entire into the Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Preserve Pond. About 5 years ago, Lincoln Park Zoo funded the remodeling of the pond to the south of the zoo. In the summer they host swan looking paddle boats, nature educational walks, and an outdoor summer cafe. It is a built up boardwalk around a beautiful duck-filled pond with an island in the center full of all sorts of plant life.
However. No one ever considers visiting this sanctuary in the winter. Chicago can get to some pretty bitter temperatures (especially near the lake), but some days the sun is shining and the wind is forgiving. I love to walk down there through the pure white snow. There are bunny tracks over the ice pond, ducks wading through the small puddles there are, a silence in the air, and breath taking peacefulness. I don't stop and stare like I do in the summer, but a different happiness comes over me as I crunch through the snow piles along the boardwalk. It is extremely relaxing and a nice preview of what to see at the free zoo ahead!
On the boardwalk...
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