The Best Running Trails in Chicago

No matter the weather, runners in Chicago are hardy trainers that can’t stay away from the allure of outside training. Running on a treadmill just can’t compare! Depending on where you’re at in the city, there’s a perfect running path for you.

Lace up your tennis shoes! Here’s a definitive list of the best running trails in Chicago.

Lakeshore Path

It only makes sense to start this list with the very best running trail in Chicago. The Lakeshore Path runs between Lake Shore Drive, and Lake Michigan, with many different access points, depending on where you are/live in Chicago. With 13.5 of trails, you can get in as long or short of a run as you want. Regardless of the time of day, you’ll be in good company with other bikers and runners pushing it to the limit. If you don’t like running, you can still use the Lakeshore Path to get to the beach and other recreational fun that may be more your taste.

North Branch Trail

There are a couple trails alongside the North Branch of the Chicago River, but the North Branch Trail is considered to be the best uninterrupted expanse for runners. The northern end of the trail starts at the beautiful Chicago Botanic Gardens, then winds south through a number of other natural Illinois beauties (and some unnatural, like golf courses). In total, the trail spans 20 miles.

Chicago Riverwalk

A little under a mile, the Chicago Riverwalk is most suitable for a quick run during lunch. Although you’ll have to dodge tourists, it provides a beautiful view of the Chicago River that might help distract from your burning lungs.

The 606

The 606, also known as the Bloomington Trial, is one of the newest running trails in Chicago. It attracts bikers and runners, alike, and is situated at the top of a former rail line. Many enjoy the elevated view while getting a bit of exercise. The trail is only 2.7 miles, so you might need a couple of loops if you’re training for a long race. This running trail in Chicago spans several neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square, with access ramps all across the trail.

What would you add to this list of the best running trails in Chicago? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist who has a passion for blogging. Her lifestyle blog, ChicagoCheapAss, shows young adults how to find the best deals and values in Chicago!