Running Chicago: Uncovering the Best Routes and Scenic Races for Fitness Enthusiasts


Running Chicago: Uncovering the Best Routes and Scenic Races for Fitness Enthusiasts

The Windy City, with its vast parks, lakefront views, and architectural wonders, provides a myriad of running routes for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.

Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or a newbie to the sport, Chicago offers a wealth of scenic tracks and high-energy races that will keep your heart pumping. Let’s lace up and discover some of the city’s best routes and races.

Routes to Run

Lakefront Trail:

Stretching for 18.5 miles along the city’s beautiful lakefront, this path offers magnificent views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline. The trail, popular among runners, walkers, and bikers alike, spans from Ardmore Street on the North Side to 71st Street on the South Side.

North Shore Channel Trail:

This 6.7-mile trail starts in Lincoln Square and stretches north to Evanston, following the North Shore Channel. A favorite among local runners, the path features both paved and unpaved sections, offering a varied terrain that suits all running preferences.

The 606:

Also known as the Bloomingdale Trail, this elevated, 2.7-mile path offers an urban running experience through four Chicago neighborhoods: Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. The trail is lined with artwork, making it a colorful route to explore.

Grant Park:

Known as “Chicago’s front yard,” this 319-acre park provides a variety of paths with views of Buckingham Fountain, Museum Campus, and Lake Michigan. The park’s 1.25-mile inner loop is perfect for shorter, speed workouts.


This neighborhood, home to the iconic Wrigley Field, offers a unique and lively running experience. Start your route at the Addison Red Line stop, make your way around the stadium, and continue through the bustling streets filled with historic homes and local bars. After your run, reward yourself with a stop at one of Wrigleyville’s numerous brunch spots.

Lincoln Park:

Stretching over 1200 acres, Lincoln Park is a runner’s paradise in the heart of the city. With numerous trails, stunning skyline views, the tranquil North Pond, and the lively Lincoln Park Zoo, it’s a perfect blend of city and nature. A popular route is the 5.62-mile loop that takes you around the entire park and along the lakefront.

River North:

For those who enjoy urban running, River North is a must-visit. The area, known for its gallery district, offers a mix of city streets, river views, and architectural wonders. Start your run at the riverwalk and make your way through the bustling neighborhood. Don’t forget to check out the iconic “The Bean” sculpture in nearby Millennium Park.

Exploring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods on foot is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture while getting a good workout. Whether you prefer the peace of parks, the buzz of city streets, or the allure of lakefront trails, there’s a route waiting for you. Happy running!

Whether you’re looking for an early morning jog along the lakefront or gearing up to conquer a marathon, Chicago has a wealth of options to keep you motivated.

So lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement.

The city is yours to explore!

Photo by Mary West on Unsplash

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Picture of ~ Kristi Battalini ~

~ Kristi Battalini ~

I’m out in our community creating hyper local content with business owners, non-profits, and historic home owners and those making a difference.


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