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6 Great Biking Trails in Chicago (In No Particular Order)

Looking to witness a scenic view while biking around? All you have to do is choose one or all of these 7 biking trails in Chicago and we promise that you’ll have one of the most memorable rides of your life.

As its famous tagline says, Chicago is “second to none”. With its lovely beaches, delicious food, hip festivals, art, and music, no doubt Chicago is indeed a great place to live in or visit. And oh, did I also mention that Chicago’s skyline and urban architecture are a beauty to behold?

What better way to appreciate Chicago’s beauty than by riding a bike around the city? Forget the Uber, bus, or the train. All you need is a bike to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the city. On a second thought, I’d probably bring my helmet, bike lock and other bike accessories too!

Must Ride Biking Trails in Chicago

Chicago is home to the greatest bike trails in the world! Well, that might just be an exaggeration but believe me, these seven biking trails in Chicago are worth checking out!

1. Lakefront Trail

By Alanscottwalker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15701656

Lake Michigan is one of Chicago’s most beautiful assets and its beauty is on full display along the famous Lakefront Trail. If you are from Chicago, you should be familiar with this biking trail — an expansive shoreline lined by the glistening blue waters on one side and green parks on the other. If you’re not a local, then make sure to put Lakefront Trail on your bucket list!

Hop on your bike because the Lakefront is not only meant for beachgoers. This 18-mile trail won’t disappoint. When the sun gets too hot, you can always find a shade somewhere to enjoy the cool breeze.

Check this out for a more comprehensive guide on what to do in Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.

2. Northerly Island Trail

By TonyTheTiger at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3098062

Burnt out from your nine to five-day job? Give yourself a break and hop on your bike! Take a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city living using the Northerly Island Trail. This biking trail in Chicago is quite short (about 1 mile). But it has much to offer — sculpture installations, public art, post-card worthy Chicago skyline — to name a few. The Northerly Island Trail is just right around downtown, near the Lake Front Path.

3. 606/ Bloomingdale Trail

By Payton Chung – https://www.flickr.com/photos/paytonc/3632864621/in/album-256786/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42589939

Any history nerds here who likes food and exercise? I know these two don’t go along well together but just in case. Spend your cheat days in 606 Trail, also known as the Bloomingdale Trail. This biking trail in Chicago offers a 2.7-mile long trail for your exercise, and over 25 bars and restaurants that will surely satisfy your cravings. Aim to come by each of the nearby bars and restaurants as they’re guaranteed to give you a great time after a long ride.

For history buffs, the Bloomingdale trail was actually a railroad track decades ago. You might discover interesting, inspiring, and haunting stories if you ask around.

4. North Branch Trail

A fawn investigating the ground a few feet away from the North Branch Biking Trail. By Jasenlee – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3909639

Try this bike-friendly path and witness the beauty of the Chicago Botanic Garden with all its thousands and thousands of lovely flowers and wildlife. What used to be a 20-mile dirt path is now covered with asphalt surrounded by trees and multiple golf courses. The North Branch Trail runs along the northern branch of the Chicago River. Feel free to enjoy its serenity alone, with friends or with your significant other (no pressure, just only if you have one). Embrace the picturesque view it offers and of course, don’t forget to flood your Instagram!

5. Green Bay Trail

By Wrschroed – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17196823

The nine-mile-long Green Bay Trail runs along Chicago’s Metra rail line. Along with this amazing trail are beautiful homes, shops, restaurants, and community parks. The famous Lake Michigan is just less than one mile away so feel free to take a detour wherever you are along the trail if you want to relax and unwind by the beach.

This biking trail in Chicago alternates between crushed limestone and pavement. Many residents and tourists who don’t want to drive a car use the trail when going between communities. You can also get to Ravinia — one of Chicago’s premier music venue featuring open-air areas for concerts and indoor theaters for recitals — using the Green Bay Trail.

At the end of the day, if you’re too tired to bike your way back, just hop into a Metra train and you’re all set!

6. Illinois Prairie Path

By Lpangelrob – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11049492

If you are looking for another long biking trail in Chicago, then the 61-mile-Illinois Prairie Path should be on your list. Yes, you heard that right, a prairie path. Sounds exciting, isn’t it? You might encounter a few challenges on the road, but who cares? It’ll just make your trip more thrilling!

The Illinois Prairie Path runs along the original path of Elgin Railroad and Chicago Aurora Railroad. This biking trail in Chicago is one of the country’s first railroad-turned-bike-trails. Thanks to the effort of Chicagoans and naturalist May Theilgaard Watts who suggested the idea in 1963.

Although the 16-mile Main branch of the trail is pretty much urban, the Batavia Spur and Elgin branches of the trail are definitely worth it! These trails will plunge you in the middle of woodlands and fields where wildlife abounds. Don’t be surprised if a rabbit or a deer greets you on the way!

Hop on Your Bike and Experience the Best Biking Trails Chicago can Offer

Are you itching to bike around Chicago now? I bet you are coz’ I am too!

For those who have ridden on these biking trails before, keep on riding. No matter how many times you’ve visited the North Branch Trail or the Illinois Prairie Path, there’s always something new to experience.

For those who are not from Chicago, you can always check out these amazing bike trails whenever you get the chance to visit the place.

Ah! I can’t wait! Can you?

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