Chicago is a city that boasts a diverse range of running trails for runners of all levels. Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a beginner looking to get into running, Chicago has something to offer.
With its stunning skyline, beautiful parks, and scenic lakefront, Chicago is a runner’s paradise. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to run in Chicago.
One of the most popular places to run in Chicago is the Lakefront Trail. The trail is an 18-mile path that follows the shores of Lake Michigan and offers stunning views of the city skyline. The trail is well-maintained and offers plenty of water fountains and restrooms along the way. It is a great place to run any time of the day, but it can get crowded during peak hours.
Another popular spot for runners in Chicago is Grant Park. The park is located in the heart of downtown and offers a variety of running trails. The park is home to many of the city’s iconic landmarks, including Buckingham Fountain and the Art Institute of Chicago. It is a great place to run if you want to combine your workout with some sightseeing.
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is a must-visit destination for runners. Spanning 18 miles along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, it offers stunning views of the lake and the city skyline. With ample restrooms and water stops, it’s a great place to get in a long run.
The North End of the Lakefront Trail starts at Ardmore Avenue and runs to Hollywood Avenue. This section is perfect for runners who want to enjoy the beauty of the lake and the city skyline. Along the way, runners can enjoy the views of Belmont Harbor, Montrose Beach, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. The trail is well-maintained and has plenty of water fountains and restrooms.
The South End of the Lakefront Trail starts at 31st Street Beach and runs to the South Shore Cultural Center. This section is perfect for runners who want to enjoy the beauty of the lake and the city skyline. Along the way, runners can enjoy the views of the Museum of Science and Industry, the Jackson Park Golf Course, and the South Shore Cultural Center. The trail is well-maintained and has plenty of water fountains and restrooms.
Overall, the Lakefront Trail is an excellent place to run in Chicago. With its stunning views, well-maintained trail, and ample amenities, runners of all levels will enjoy running along the lakefront.
Lincoln Park is a popular neighborhood in Chicago for runners. It offers a variety of running options, including the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Nature Boardwalk.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is a great option for runners who want to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while getting their exercise. The zoo is located off Stockton Drive in Lincoln Park and is free to the public. The zoo spans 35 acres and features over 1,000 animals. Runners can enjoy the scenic paths and trails throughout the zoo, which are well-maintained and provide a safe and enjoyable running experience.
The Nature Boardwalk is another popular running spot in Lincoln Park. It is a 14-acre pond that is home to a variety of wildlife, including turtles, frogs, and fish. The boardwalk is a great place for runners to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and get some exercise at the same time. The boardwalk is open year-round and is a popular spot for runners, walkers, and cyclists.
Overall, Lincoln Park is a great neighborhood for runners in Chicago. With its beautiful scenery and well-maintained paths and trails, runners can enjoy a safe and enjoyable running experience in this neighborhood.
The 606 Trail
The 606 Trail, also known as the Bloomingdale Trail, is a 2.7-mile elevated urban trail located in Chicago’s west side. It was opened in 2015 and has since become a popular destination for runners, bikers, and walkers. The trail runs from Walsh Park at the I-90, west to N. Ridgeway.
The Bloomingdale Trail is a former rail line that has been converted into a multi-use recreational trail and park. The trail is elevated, providing runners with a unique and scenic view of the city. The trail is separated into pedestrian and bike paths, ensuring that everyone can enjoy it safely. The trail is also adorned with public art and lovely landscaping, making it a beautiful place to run.
Churchill Field Park
Churchill Field Park is located at the eastern end of the 606 Trail. It is a 15-acre park that offers a variety of amenities for runners, including a track, baseball fields, and a soccer field. The park is also home to a playground, making it a great destination for families.
Overall, the 606 Trail is a must-visit destination for runners in Chicago. Its unique elevated design and stunning views make it one of the best places to run in the city. With the addition of Churchill Field Park, runners have access to even more amenities, making it an ideal destination for a long run or a quick workout.
Grant Park is a 319-acre park located in downtown Chicago. It is one of the most popular parks in the city and a favorite spot for runners. Grant Park offers a variety of running options, from scenic lakefront paths to challenging hills.
Buckingham Fountain is a landmark in Grant Park and a popular spot for runners. The fountain is located in the center of the park and offers a beautiful backdrop for a run. The fountain is surrounded by a large plaza, which is perfect for warm-up exercises and stretching. Runners can also use the plaza for interval training or sprints.
Millennium Park is adjacent to Grant Park and offers additional running options. The park features a 2.5-acre garden, a performance pavilion, and an ice rink. The park’s most iconic feature is the Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” The sculpture is a popular spot for tourists, but it can also be incorporated into a running route.
One of the most popular running routes in the park is the Millennium Park/Grant Park Loop. The loop is 3.5 miles long and combines Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Grant Park. Runners can create their own route on the parks’ numerous paths.
Overall, Grant Park is a great place for runners of all levels. The park offers a variety of running options, from flat lakefront paths to challenging hills. With its beautiful scenery and convenient location, Grant Park is a must-visit for any runner in Chicago.
Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile-long pedestrian path along the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The path is divided into six separate sections, each with its own unique features and attractions. The Chicago Riverwalk is a popular destination for runners, joggers, and walkers who want to enjoy the scenic views while getting some exercise.
One of the best things about the Chicago Riverwalk is that it is accessible from multiple points throughout the city. Runners can join the Riverwalk at any convenient point and enjoy a leisurely jog along the river. The Riverwalk is also well-lit and has plenty of benches and seating areas, making it a safe and comfortable place to run even at night.
The Chicago Riverwalk is a great way to do an off-road run combining views of the water, the Chicago skyline, and some of the city’s architectural highlights. It’s a good standalone run, or can be combined with The Loop tour or the Lakefront and Park routes. The Riverwalk features a variety of public art installations, gardens, and fountains, providing runners with plenty of interesting sights to enjoy along the way.
One of the most popular sections of the Chicago Riverwalk is the Marina Plaza, which features a large seating area and a beautiful fountain. The Marina Plaza is a great place to take a break and enjoy the view of the river and the boats passing by. Another popular section is the River Theater, which features an outdoor amphitheater and a variety of events and performances throughout the year.
Overall, the Chicago Riverwalk is a must-visit destination for runners and walkers who want to enjoy the beauty of downtown Chicago while getting some exercise. With its scenic views, public art installations, and comfortable seating areas, the Riverwalk is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely jog or a brisk walk.
Chicago offers a plethora of options for runners to explore. From the iconic Lakefront Trail to the scenic parks, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, Chicago has a route that suits your needs.
The Lakefront Trail is undoubtedly the most popular running spot in Chicago, with its stunning views of Lake Michigan and ample amenities. It is an 18-mile path that stretches along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, offering restrooms, water stops, and even bike rentals. The trail is perfect for runners who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery while getting their workout in.
For those who prefer to run in the city, the Loop and Riverwalk offer a unique and exciting experience. Runners can take in the spectacular architecture of Chicago while running through the bustling streets. The Riverwalk also offers a peaceful and scenic route along the Chicago River.
If you are looking for a more challenging run, the 606 is an elevated urban trail that spans 2.7 miles. It connects four neighborhood parks and offers a unique perspective of the city.
Chicago also has plenty of parks that offer great running options. Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and Jackson Park are just a few of the many parks that offer scenic routes for runners. These parks are perfect for those who want to escape the city and enjoy nature while running.
Overall, Chicago is a runner’s paradise. With its diverse range of routes and scenic views, it offers something for everyone. Whether you are a local or a visitor, Chicago’s running scene is not to be missed.