Explore the most popular river trails near Chicago with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If you like mud, this is for you. It hasn’t rained in over a week and the river water level is low, but the trail is still mostly mud. There are many down and dead trees throughout. One of my kids said it reminds him of a scene from a horror movie so not the most enjoyable nature scene either. Perhaps if the trail were completely frozen it may be more enjoyable but there was so much mud we took the main road back, despite the lack of a sidewalk to do so.

Closed for “improvements” at Columbus access stairs

A must go in Chicago, especially great at night. The riverwalk is now complete so you can walk all the way from Michigan Ave around Wacker. The views are great, you can stop and have lunch, dinner or a drink at and in the night sky, the building lights are one of the best views in all of Chicago. Easy walking path with stairs, ramps and elevators for easy access.

Go in the morning on a weekday, and you'll nearly have this area to yourself! Enjoy the many moods of Lake Michigan, great views of the city, and plenty of swamp and water birds

5 months ago

Nice trail to walk right by the river, can watch the boats pass and see the historic city.

Really fun walk. Great Chicago architecture, river, restaurants, people watching. Great for photography too.

Nice running trail. Plenty of shaded sections, great for running in a hot sunny day

8 months ago

Beautiful trail with restaurants and bars lining the majority of the trail. A great place to appreciate the beautiful architecture that Chicago has to offer.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Easy, paved trails.
Some stairs, depending on where you enter the river walk.
Beautiful on a crisp Chicago morning.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Very modern and interesting.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Great City.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The lake views are gorgeous, and it's a really nice walk. Not so great if you want something challenging.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

I got rubbed in this location, so sad because love the trail. They destroy my doors to get in, when to the trunk of the car and got everything from my car, computer bag, my personal bag and everything. I will think twice to go again. So sad

Monday, October 31, 2016

Very nice trail. truly loved the dog park on the beach. Had never seen anything like that before. Watching all the dogs play was an amazing site to see.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Monday, May 30, 2016

Nice crowded.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One of my favorite stretches of the lake if you go up to the bird sanctuary / the magic hedge / dune areas. It isn't all pavement if you extend your hike past the harbor into the peninsula. Great for seeing birds, trees, and escaping the sound of cars!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Am a Chicagoan, born and raised. If you haven't walked, run, or biked this trail I refuse to say you're a resident. The views are amazing, from the beautiful lake, to the art, the city, and eventually leading into the suburbs.

Monday, August 04, 2014

A flat and very busy paved bike and running path, but I do the 5 miles on it work every day in all weather. I would say the views from it can be great with stoms coming in and would suggest the south path (past the museums) if you want a path with less people. For more distance head all the way from Monroe to the end of the trail at Ardmore (around 8 miles).

Friday, June 06, 2014

Great trail with great views. Many things to see and places to stop and eat. Can be heavily congested on weekends and holidays.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lot of fun in the summer time!! Not exactly a trail, but a paved bike path.

trail running
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Beautiful view of the city. That's about all it has going for it. The trail is too congested during Chicago Marathon training season and the users (both bikers and runners) are very poor observers of the trail rules making it unreasonably dangerous.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Great place to spend the day walking around and enjoying Chicago's beautiful skyline.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's a great place to stroll, I live in Chicago and walk it often (because I love to walk). I was surprised to see it on here to me because it's like a second sidewalk sometimes to me. It's a great view, but very crowded during the warmer seasons.

road biking
Friday, December 28, 2012

I grew up riding the lake front trail but it's way over crowded. Great views and lots to explore and worth the ride if you can avoid the crowds.

mountain biking
Friday, September 07, 2012

I completely agree with Joe. Its a great way to spend the day enjoying the beautiful skyline but you really have to do some defensive riding in certain parts but its definately a ride to do at least ince.

road biking
Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Not the lengthiest trail but if you enjoy Chicago this trail is great. The crowd calms down south of Soldiers Field. I have the funnest time on this trail when I want a care free ride. Stopping at the beaches to swim or going on Navy Pier to people watch. The path is not the smoothest especially between Ohio st. Beach and Oak st. Beach

trail running
1 month ago

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