Chicago visionary planner Daniel Burnham probably didn’t have running in mind when he demanded a development-free zone along Lake Michigan . But runners now benefit from an 18-mile path from Hollywood to 71st Street with stunning views of the shoreline and the Chicago skyline. The path gets crowded between Lincoln Park and Navy Pier. Running south from the Museum Campus is much less congested.
Green Bay Trial
This North Shore trail extends about 18 miles from Wilmette to Lake Bluff. Some of the best parts of the trail include a run past Ravinia and into Glencoe.
Moraine Hills State Park
1510 S. River Road
McHenry, IL 60051
Located in McHenry, the 10 miles of crushed limestone trails are easier on the joints. Great for training runs with a few gentle rolling hills. You may even see some wildlife while you are there, from deer, to foxes, ducks and blue herons.
North Branch Trail
North Branch Trail Map (pdf)
There are several options on the North Branch Trail: The approximately four mile loop around the Skokie Lagoons is a good place to start. You can add on a few miles by taking in the gorgeous landscape in the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Also, there is a paved six mile, out and back trail just to the south of the lagoons between Tower Road and Golf Road.
4100 Illinois Route 53
Experience the lush wildflowers and foliage along the five and three mile network of paved roadways at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. There are some rolling hills but this is truly an oasis in the western suburbs. You do have to pay to park and can only run on the paved roads–not the trails.