Now that summer is in full effect in the Chicago area, outdoor exercise and exploration are absolutely essential. There is so much to do in the city; from beach volleyball to bird watching, every type of outdoor activity is readily available. The most popular sport in this midwest city is taking a long bike ride up the many winding, scenic pathways. If you’re looking to bike around Lakeview or just need a decompressing stroll outside, here are some great places to check out.
Would a Chicago bike path list be complete without mentioning the Lakefront Trail? This pathway is almost 20 miles long and covers most of the city and the northern suburbs. Its twists and turns align perfectly with Lake Michigan, giving an unbeatable view of Chicago’s beautiful freshwater lake.
Most neighborhoods can access this path by walking east toward the lake, making it an essential feature for most Chicagoans. For Lakeview residents, you’ll find an entrance on either Belmont or Diversey. An added feature for designated walk and bike paths helps guide different exercisers across the city, making it a safe place to move at your own pace.
View more information here: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/lakefront-trail
A train stop or two away from Lakeview is Uptown, a vibrant neighborhood with incredible food and unbeatable architecture. Many residents travel to Montrose beach in the summer, a beach home to a few unique amenities. The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular spots adjacent to the beach and is a perfect walking trail for a summer morning or afternoon.
The Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is the home to many migrating birds throughout the year. Thousands of migratory species fly in to rest, nest, and mate between the spring and fall. If you’re an avid birder, walking through the bird sanctuary’s enclosed and sandy pathway is the perfect place to spot many different species.
You can find the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary at 200 W. Montrose Harbor Dr., with operating hours from dusk until dawn.
View more information here: https://www.lakecookaudubon.org/birding-sites/montrose-point-bird-sanctuary/
If you’re a northside Chicagoan, you’re probably familiar with the 606. Officially constructed in 2015, the pathway’s beautiful elevated trail is a worthwhile adventure for both locals and tourists.
The 606 spans almost three miles through Chicago’s Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. Once a former railway, the path has been redesigned for safe jogging, walking, and biking. Each mile of the pathway is lined with verdant greenery, flowers, and ample benches and water fountains.
The pathway came about when Mayor Emmanual was in office in the mid-2010s. His main initiative was to create 800 new green areas for Chicago residents, which included bike trails, reserves, gardens, and parks. The City of Chicago, The Trust for Public Land, and the Chicago Park District all collectively funded the conversion of the abandoned Bloomingdale Line into what the 606 is today.
Entrances are located mainly along Bloomingdale street between Ashland Ave in Bucktown and Ridgeway Ave in Logan Square.
View more information here: https://www.the606.org/
A tourist favorite, the South Pond Natural Area, connects Lincoln Park Zoo, a winding, walkable pathway, and an iconic view of the city’s downtown.
Built in 1908, the South Pond is an expansive freshwater pond that spans almost 12 acres. You can easily walk around the pond and see many native plants and animals, with an iconic pavilion at its center that has captured the attention of photographers and architects nationwide. Though gigantic in size, the pavilion’s wood is weightless and transportable. Each plank is made of prefabricated timber and is light enough for workers to easily move and install by hand.
An archway bridges the street with the South Pond and the Lincoln Park Zoo, so pedestrians can take a quick lap around the water before scoping out all the exotic animals.
View more information here: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/lincoln-park-south-pond-natural-area
Chicago has some surprisingly large and aesthetically pleasing walkways and bike trails for a compact city. Outside Lakeview, there are even more green spaces to explore and stroll through. If you’re a northside resident or are venturing to this Chicago neighborhood over the weekend, these four spots are perfect for a summer bike ride, jog, or casual walk.