The African American Heritage Water Trail is encouraging people to reflect on history from a different perspective.

“It uncovers at least 180 years worth of history. So, it ranges from the Underground Railroad to the civil rights movement to the birth of the environmental justice movement,” Lillian Holden, education outreach coordinator for Openlands, said

The conservation non-profit developed the 7-mile route from Beaubien Woods to Robbins, exploring key sites along the Little Calumet River.

“We want to expose people to the history and to get people more familiar with the area to feel more comfortable with engaging with the spaces,” Holden said. “It’s really to bridge inequities and get people in the water so they can be advocates for nature.”

In this WGN-TV Cover Story, Gaynor Hall and photojournalists Michael D’Angelo and Steven Scheuer report on one of the highlights of the trail, the secret past of Chicago’s only Black-owned marina.