Posted by: Liz | January 7, 2009

Chicago Lakefront Path

This post serves as the first of what will surely be many entries describing the Chicago Lakefront Path. The 18 mile lakefront path is the crown jewel of Chicago’s trails. If you are a runner in Chicago, you likely are familiar with its beautiful views of both Lake Michigan and the urban skyline, the almost constant summer sporting events, the plentiful water fountains. I have seen the Chicago skyline thousands of times, but I still get a proud Chicagoan feeling when I’m running north around the Shedd Aquarium where the downtown comes in view.

Because it’s such a great path, it can be VERY BUSY with runners, bikers, strollers, rollerbladers, etc. in some segments, especially immediately north of downtown and into Lincoln Park. But, don’t let it scare you off–camaraderie can be your motivating friend. Do beware of the wind! One day I ran 10 miles south easily unrecognizing that I had the helping hand of the wind at my back. On turnaround at the 31st street beach, the gusty wind attached at my face and pace for the 10 miles back to my car….ouch! If it’s windy, start against the wind.

For a map of the path go to the Chicago Park District Beaches Page, and scroll down the long page to the ‘Lakefront Maps’.

Chicago's icy wintery beach is still great to run near.

Chicago's icy wintery beach is still great to run near.



  1. I live in Roger’s Park so it is a bit more convenient for me to run up Sheridan to the lakefront in Evanston. It’s a nice alternative to the lakeshore path in the City…fewer people, nicer views. Not as many water fountains but if you have a hydration belt or bottle you should be ok.

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