Running Trails In Chicago

Running Trails In Chicago

Chicago is a runner’s paradise. There are many scenic views and different types of terrain to run on. Running here is easy because of the wide range of locations available.

You’ll also be able to see the city skyline and take in the beauty of nature.

Read on as we explore the best running trails in Chicago, so you can go and explore to your heart’s content!

Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail has panorama views of the skyline, lakeside breezes, beaches, and parks. There are many trails around Chicago. The Lakefront Trail has markers every half mile to help you track your distance.

The path veers off the water just north of the Belmont Harbor. You can also run to Foster Beach. The path continues north to Hollywood Avenue before returning to the lake.

Waterfall Glen Main Trail

There is a beautiful waterfall in this park. You should bring plenty of water because there is nowhere to stop after starting the hike. Best of all, you can enjoy the scenic views while running.

Busse Woods Trail

The trail system has a paved path within the forest preserve. There are lakes, meadows, an elk pasture, and more. The trail is great for beginners who have experienced a knee injury. It is also great for people of all ages.

Gander Mountain

Head out an hour outside the City to visit Antioch for a challenging run along a 125-ft high hill. Use caution since experts recommend this course for intermediate runners and hikers.

Also, public parking is not available, but the payoff once you reach the top of the hill can be worth it.

Palos Trail System

The Palos Trail System is a collection of forest preserves located to the south of the city. It has almost 25 miles of off-road pathways for runners and bikers to enjoy.

There are also single track and multi-use roads, plenty of mountainous terrain, and a beautiful canopy of towering trees that provide pleasant shade throughout the summer. The Palos Trail System is a trail runner’s paradise.

At eight and a half miles, the yellow trail is the longest. The park’s central loop offers a fifty-fifty mix of single track trails and multi-use roads. 

Begin at the mountain bike staging area in Pulaski Woods’ Grove two. The mountain biking community has played an important role in the trail system’s preservation.

A nice map of the park is available from CAMBR, which can be quite beneficial for trail runners. The hills as well as the off-road trail will test you, but it will certainly provide variety to your running routine.

A weekend in Palos Heights will make the Chicago marathon route look easy.

Fox River Trail

The Fox River Trail in the far western suburbs offers a scenic lengthy run. From Algonquin in the north to Oswego in the south, the multi-use path stretches 43 miles. There are stretches of the track that diverge from the river or cross a city street.

In some areas, the trail runs on both banks of the river, with six pedestrian bridges connecting the two sides. The path is mostly rail-to-trail, utilizing disused rail lines in the west.

The track is built into riverside parks with magnificent tree lined stretches and some quite steep climbs, particularly in the Fox River Valley between North Aurora and St. Charles, Illinois.

This part of the trail is without a doubt the most gorgeous and has more amenities than any other on the marathon course. However, there are numerous hills along this portion, making it extremely tough to complete if you are unprepared.

DuPage River Trail

DuPage River Trail

A great trail system that runs along the DuPage river. Starting at the Illinois Prairie path, it goes under the interstate and ends by the river.

There are many interesting places you can go hiking or biking. From Knoch Knolls to DuPage River Park, the trail continues northward along the west bank of the DuPage River.

There are several parks along the route, including Naperville’s Riverwalk Park. There is also water and restrooms available at these parks. 

Illinois Prairie Path

The path is an easy place to run because of the crushed limestone. There are lots of trees along the path, making it nice and shady. Running on old train tracks makes the path unique.

You can go anywhere you want along the path. Road crossings are a problem for runners, but there aren’t any major ones along this course.

There are many opportunities to get some running time in before heading into the hills.

Des Plaines River Trail

For runners, the Des Plaines River trail offers a lengthy and attractive route. It runs through two counties: Cook and Lake.

The trail is mostly paved and is maintained by two different forest preserves. In Cook County, there are various off-road possibilities, but the main road is mostly paved. The trail’s easy section begins in the river grove near the southern end.

The remainder of the trail passes through parks and forests.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a great place to go for exercise and recreation. There are many parks nearby too. You can run along the lakeside paths and go inside the zoo.

The zoo is a great place for a family day out and, if you still have the energy after a run, it’s wonderful to walk around and see the various animals. 

Grant Park

Chicago’s Grant Park is a great place to go if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are lots of places to see while you’re there.

You can go to the museum, or you can walk around the park. You can even go to the beach.

Jackson Park To Washington Park Via Midway Plaisance

A great place to run in Chicago. You can start at the University of Chicago and go down to Washington Park. There are remnants of the world fair, and beaches to marvel at as well.

North Shore Channel Trail From River Park To Stokie

Runners love this trail because it’s quiet and peaceful. There are lots of places to stop and rest. You’ll see lots of people running here. This trail is great for speed workouts.

Connecting to the Green Bay Trail takes you to the botanical gardens.

Final Thoughts

If you are a keen runner within the Chicago area, then you should definitely aim to try out one of these running trails. Whether you are experienced or at a beginner level, there will be a trail that you can experience. 

Megan Rinzel
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