Some Of The Best Running Trails In Chicago

October 7, 2010 4:29 PM

Best Running Spots Around Chicago

(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Are you tired of the same old boring run though your neighborhood. Are you looking for a great spot for that long weekend run? Here are some of the best running trails that we found in the Chicago area:

Chicago Lakefront


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

North Shore

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.

running moraine hills state park dnr illinois Some Of The Best Running Trails In Chicago


Moraine Hills State Park

1510 S. River Road
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 385-1624

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

Skokie, Ill.
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.

Morton Arboretum

4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, Ill.
(630) 968-0074

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.