Can the Detroit International RiverWalk Three-Peat as Best Riverwalk in the Country?
In one of the first Reader’s Choice polls of 2023 at USA Today/10best.com, the search is one for the Best Riverwalk in the United States. One Michigan location will be looking to bring home that title for a third year in a row. The Detroit International RiverWalk previously won the honor in 2021 and 2022, but will face stiff competition if it hopes to defend its title yet again. Today we will take a look at the case for the Detroit International Riverwalk, see what kind of competition it is up against, and share some photos from our visits. Voting is ongoing through February 6th, and you can vote once a day. A winner will be announced on Friday, February 17th.
10best.com shares this about the Detroit International RiverWalk: “The riverfront redevelopment in Detroit, a city with 14 miles of shoreline along the Detroit River, is one of the city’s most exciting initiatives. The east riverfront of the Detroit International RiverWalk stretches from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park and includes several parks, restaurants, splash parks and natural areas.” You can see a map of the entire riverwalk at https://detroitriverfront.org/#map, which will give you an idea of how many Detroit landmarks it passes. Along the route you will also have great views of the Detroit River (and passing boat traffic), Belle Isle, and the Canadian shoreline.
Some of the highlights along the Detroit International RiverWalk route include Hart Plaza, GM Plaza, Cullen Plaza, Milliken State Park and the Outdoor Discovery Center, the Dequindre Cut, the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, Mt. Elliott Park, and Gabriel Richard Park. Things along the route continue to improve and future plans call for expansion and having the entire route stretch from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle Park.
Some of the other riverwalks hoping to end Detroit’s run at the top include the Canal Walk in Indianapolis, the Chicago Riverwalk, the Mississippi Riverwalk (Dubuque, IA), Riverfront Park in Nashville, the San Antonio River Walk, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail (Pittsburgh), Waterfront Park in Louisville, and the Wilmington Riverwalk in North Carolina. As of this writing Detroit was in fifth place trailing Tampa, Louisville, Dubuque, and Cincinnati. Let’s hope the Detroit International RiverWalk can bring home top honors, as USA Today seems to have somehow forgot about Michigan in their contests for Best Recreational Trail and Best City Park.
Detroit has a chance to bring home a prize in a few other contests as well with the Detroit Institute of the Arts is a finalist for Best Art Museum and Campus Martius is a finalist for Best Public Square.