Outdoor Fitness: Our Favorite Spots for Yoga, Running, and Cycling in Lakeview

People biking on Chicago's Lakefront TrailThe Midwest is a beautiful place for summer fun and outdoor adventures. Chicago is the epicenter for these quintessential summertime activities; with close proximity to the beach and ample green spaces, the city’s residents often gallivant, exercise, and relax outside during the warmer months. 

The Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago offers various outdoor fitness opportunities for residents and visitors alike. From serene lakeside yoga spots to scenic running paths and cycling routes, Lakeview has something for every fitness enthusiast. Here are some of the best places for outdoor fitness if you live in Lakeview or happen to be visiting the area. 

Yoga by the Lake

One of Lakeview’s most picturesque spots for outdoor yoga is the lakefront near Belmont Harbor. With stunning views of Lake Michigan, this area provides a tranquil environment perfect for your yoga practice. Many local yoga instructors and studios offer classes here during the summer months, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and calming sounds of the water while you stretch and meditate.

Another excellent spot for yoga is the abundant green spaces in Lincoln Park, particularly near the South Pond. This area offers a peaceful setting with plenty of space to lay down your mat and flow through your poses. Locals often head to the garden outside the Lincoln Park Zoo for outdoor lounging and exercise. The park’s proximity to nature, wildlife, and the renowned plant conservatory makes for a serene yoga experience and doubles as an all-day adventure. 

Scenic Running Routes

Lakeview boasts some of the best running routes in Chicago, with paths that offer beautiful views and varied terrain. The Lakefront Trail is a must-visit for any runner. This 18-mile path stretches along the shore of Lake Michigan, providing runners with breathtaking views of the water and the Chicago skyline. In Lakeview, you can access the trail from Belmont Harbor or Diversey Harbor and enjoy a run south towards downtown or north towards Montrose Beach.

For a more urban running experience, many locals enjoy running on the streets of Lakeview itself. Start at Wrigley Field and run through the lively neighborhood streets, passing by local shops, restaurants, and historic homes. This route offers a unique blend of bustling city energy and neighborhood charm, making your run both fitness-focused and exciting. 

Cycling Adventures

Cyclists in Lakeview have plenty of options for scenic and challenging rides. The Lakefront Trail is also a fantastic route for cyclists, offering the same stunning views and smooth paths as it does for runners. This trail is perfect for both casual rides and more intense cycling workouts, with plenty of places to stop, rehydrate, and enjoy Lake Michigan’s beauty.

If you want a longer ride, you can head west from Lakeview to explore the North Branch Trail. This 20-mile trail runs through several forest preserves, providing a beautiful, verdant backdrop for your ride. You can access the trail from several points in Lakeview, making it a convenient option for local cyclists.

For those who don’t want to cycle too far, the streets of Lakeview offer a network of bike lanes and routes that take you through the heart of the neighborhood. Ride past iconic landmarks like Wrigley Field and explore this energetic area’s diverse architecture and notable street art. Many local bike shops also offer group rides and events, providing a great way to meet fellow cyclists and explore new routes.

Fitness Classes and Events

Lakeview is home to various outdoor fitness classes and events catering to different interests and fitness levels. In addition to yoga classes by the lake, you can find boot camps, Pilates sessions, and even dance workouts in various parks and open spaces. Crosstown Fitness in Lakeview is an example of one workout business that hosts outdoor classes, allowing students to get needed sun exposure and realign their mental health. Check local community boards and online event listings to find the latest offerings and join a class that suits your schedule and fitness goals.

During the summer months, Lakeview hosts several fitness-focused events and festivals, such as the Chicago Lakefront 10 Miler and various charity runs and walks. The Chicago Full Moon Run is another popular outdoor event where participants jog at night to support vital local charities. Participating in these events is a great way to stay motivated, challenge yourself, and connect with the local fitness community and fundamental Chicago initiatives.  

The bustling Lakeview neighborhood offers a wealth of outdoor fitness opportunities for yoga enthusiasts, runners, cyclists, and all-around exercisers. Whether you prefer the tranquility of lakeside yoga, the challenge of a scenic run, or the thrill of a cycling adventure, Lakeview has something substantial to offer. If you’re a local, transplant, or visitor, this vibrant neighborhood is the perfect place to stay active and healthy through an infinite array of outdoor activities.