The east loop is open! On June 12th I noticed the fence was down. I thought it was a worker mistake or petty vandalism. I rode on through.
I have been there two times this week (June 12 – 19) and the fence is still down. I assume it is open to the public. Riding and stopping to photo and breathe is great so close to downtown Chicago.
The Chicago Parks Department either does not know or they assume people can safely stay on a 12 wide concrete slab.
I saw a possible three year old with his family. He was picking up pebbles off the walk, waddling over and dropping them of the edge. They were having so much fun and he was clearing the path!
The barriers are gone!
A few months after the official opening in September 2015 the east loop of the Northerly Island trail was fenced off due to storm damage which you can see earlier in this two-year continuous discussion. For a few weeks in June 2016, the fence was gone. It was too depressing to post an update about yellow concrete Jersey Barriers blocked the path a week later.
Today, September 2017, the barriers are gone! You can physically cruise the whole loop on Northerly Island. It might be illegal since there is a prominent Trail Closed sign, but it is a gorgeous little jaunt. Today I saw a few monarch butterflies, sumac turning red, active honey bees and big bluestem grass. I think the purple flowers are Prairie Aster. Is that great? Native prairie plants with Chicago skyline! I will see you there.