BIKING THE CITY OF CHICAGO: WHAT ROUTES TO TAKE & WHERE TO STOP
With miles of lakefront shoreline and stunning skyline views, Chicago is a great city for exploring urban bikes. The city is home to miles of trails that can work for any level of rider, whether you log several miles of pedaling a day or you’re just starting out. Follow this guide to finding your way around the city of Chicago on two wheels.
Chicago Lakefront Trail
The shoreline of Lake Michigan offers a beachside atmosphere, natural beauty and a view of the city skyline. The Chicago Lakefront Trail follows the shore for 18.5 miles of relatively flat ground, making it an ideal path for walkers, runners, and cyclists riding comfort bikes for seniors. The trail passes some of the city’s most noted attractions, including museums and public parks. Ride for a few miles, then stop for a break to take in aquatic life at the Shedd Aquarium. Or, bring along supplies to enjoy a picnic in Grant Park. There are plenty of public amenities to keep you comfortable along the way, including restrooms, water fountains and concession stands.
Also known as the 606, the Bloomingdale Trail is an elevated stretch of biking path that runs 2.7 miles in one direction. The trail opened in 2015. It follows a converted railway line that dated back to the 1800s. Head out on a city bike for sale and pass by sites including Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, and Bucktown. There are plenty of options for places to eat and drink along the way, as the trail runs through some of the city’s most foodie-friendly neighborhoods. Grab a burger at Choppers in Walsh Park or enjoy breakfast pastries and hearty brunch options at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate on Damen Avenue. There are also plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy along the trail, including neighborhood parks and an observation deck.
If you’re in the mood for a shorter ride on urban bikes, the Chicago Riverwalk clocks in at just under 2 miles. The path follows the river through the heart of downtown, making it a nice choice to experience the city’s scenery without having to navigate busy streets. Stop at one of the many restaurants or bars along the trail, or enjoy the marina.
North Shore Channel Trail
For those looking to head out into the city’s northern suburbs, the North Shore Channel Trail starts at Lincoln Square and runs north for 10 miles to Evanston. This trail is a good option for cyclists who want to take in some nature after days of exploring the city. The North Shore Channel Trail features paved and dirt sections and offers views of the Chicago River, as well as the natural landscape around the North Shore Channel. Take a break to enjoy the artwork at Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, which features more than 60 works of art.
Chicago offers many trails for cyclists, including paved pathways along the Lake Michigan shoreline and varied scenery that takes you north of the city. When you’re planning your next ride, make sure you have a sturdy bike and all the gear you need to rack up miles. Turn to a trusted vendor of urban bikes for top quality and a wide selection.