Chicago Lakefront Trail

The Chicago Lakefront Trail (LFT[1]) is a 18.5-mile-long (29.8 km)[2] partial shared use path for walking, jogging, and cycling, located along the western shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois. The trail passes through and connects Chicago's four major lakefront parks along with various beaches and recreational amenities. It also serves as a route for bicycle commuters. On busy summer days 70,000 people use the trail.[2]

The LFT is located wholly within the Chicago city limits and spans from 7100 South/2560 East to 5800 North/1000 West. It is a dedicated-use path, although frequent intersections do pose a threat to path users. These intersections are clearly signed both to path users and motorists. From north to south, it runs through Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park.

Chicago Lakefront Trail
Lake front bike2
Length18.5 miles (29.8 km)
LocationChicago, Illinois, USA
UseCycling and pedestrians
Cycling details
Trail difficultyEasy
SeasonLimited access during winter


In 1963, Mayor Richard J. Daley designated the LFT as the city's first official bike path. Over the years it grew in popularity.[3] In 2017 and 2018 the Trail Separation Project sought to add capacity and increase safety by providing separation of bike and foot traffic lanes, utilizing both widened, dedicated lanes and in some areas newly constructed and separately dedicated path sections.[4]

Additional improvement is sought by constructing the Navy Pier Flyover, basically a dedicated bridge over the Chicago River. From Wacker Drive to Illinois Street the Lakefront Trail shares the pedestrian sidewalk on lower-level Lake Shore Drive. In order to reduce the conflicts between pedestrian and bicyclists, and avoid the very busy intersections at Illinois Street and Grand Avenue, the Chicago Department of Transportation has been designing the Navy Pier Flyover since 2000. This bridge will run alongside the upper level of Lake Shore Drive from north of the Ohio Street Beach to Illinois Street, and then alongside the lower level of Lake Shore Drive as it crosses the Chicago River, with an exit in the middle serving Navy Pier and DuSable Park.[5] Construction began in spring 2014 and will continue until 2018.[6] The entire 60 million dollar project is expected to be completed in 2019.[7]


Some attractions along the path (listed from south to north) are the South Shore Cultural Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, McCormick Place, Soldier Field, Chicago's Museum Campus, Monroe Harbor, Navy Pier, Belmont Harbor, and the Waveland Clock Tower. The Lakefront Trail connects most of the Chicago beaches and three skate parks (31st Street, Grant Park, Wilson Avenue). Several dog parks are accessible from the trail.[8]


Path maintenance is provided by the Chicago Park District. The Lakefront Trail is open 24 hours a day, but the parks and beaches along the path close at 11 PM.


Lake front bike trail
Lake front bike5
Lake front bike3
Lake front bike4
Chicago LFT GC

See also


  1. ^ Budget Summary (PDF), Chicago Park District, 2018, p. 56
  2. ^ a b "Chicago Park District Lakefront Trail Counts" (PDF). Chicago Park District. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Biking and Chicago's Lakefront Trail". Chicago Architecture Center - CAC. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  4. ^ "Lakefront Trail". Chicago Park District. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  5. ^ Navy Pier Flyover presentation
  6. ^ Navy Pier Flyover website
  7. ^ "Navy Pier Flyover - Construction". Navy Pier Flyover. City of Chicago. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  8. ^ Vivanco, Leonor (31 July 2017). "Dog park opens in Edgewater". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 November 2017.

External links

Coordinates: 41°52′58″N 87°36′52″W / 41.88275°N 87.61433°W

Agora (sculpture)

Agora is an installation of 106 headless and armless iron sculptures at the south end of Grant Park in Chicago. Designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, they were made in a foundry near Poznań between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, the Chicago Park District brought the work to Chicago as a permanent loan from the Polish Ministry of Culture. Similar installations have been constructed throughout the world, but Agora is among the largest.

Burnham Park (Chicago)

Burnham Park is a public park located in Chicago, Illinois. Situated along 6 miles (9.7 km) of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park connects Grant Park at 14th Street to Jackson Park at 56th Street. The 598 acres (242 ha) of parkland is owned and managed by Chicago Park District. It was named for urban planner and architect Daniel Burnham in 1927. Burnham was one of the designers of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

The park is an outgrowth of the 1909 Plan for Chicago developed by the park's namesake Daniel Burnham and often called simply "The Burnham Plan". Land for the park has been acquired by the city's park district by a variety of means such as bequest, landfill, and barter. Now, the park hosts some of the city's most important municipal structures, such as Soldier Field and McCormick Place. The park has surrendered the land for the Museum Campus to Grant Park. During the presidency of U.S. President Barack Obama, the park was the landing site for Marine One when visiting his Kenwood home on Chicago's south side.

In the early 20th century, Chicago businessman A. Montgomery Ward advocated that the lakefront must be publicly accessible, and remain "forever open, clear and free", lest the city descend into the squalor typical of American cities of the time, with buildings and heavy industry destroying any chance for beauty. Ward's influence lead to the protection of the lake shore parks system and to this day, the city's lakefront is open from the former city limits at Hollywood Ave (5700N) down to the former steel mills near Rainbow Beach (7700S).

Culture Coast Chicago

Culture Coast Chicago is a collection of artistically vibrant neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Known for its high concentration of museums, music and theater ensembles, performance venues, cultural nonprofits, and arts education opportunities, the region spans from just south of McCormick Place to the South Shore Cultural Center and is bordered by Lake Michigan to the east and the Dan Ryan Expressway to the west.

Hyde Park is the heart of the Culture Coast, with neighboring Bronzeville and Woodlawn adding to the region's diverse cultural offerings. It is home to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Western hemisphere's largest science museum, and the Hyde Park Art Center, the city's oldest alternative exhibition space.Other key institutions include the DuSable Museum of African American History, the country's first museum dedicated to the study of African American history; and the University of Chicago, which houses the Oriental Institute, the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, and the Renaissance Society. The university hosts numerous visiting artists, performances, and lectures. The region is also home to several independent bookstores and community arts initiatives.

The Culture Coast's artistic heritage includes creative icons such as playwright Lorraine Hansberry, novelist Saul Bellow, and jazz pioneer Herbie Hancock. The lakefront area has evolved into an eclectic architectural landscape since the mid-1800s, featuring Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie-style homes, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District, and the University of Chicago's Collegiate Gothic quadrangles and modern constructions, such as the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

Since the 2008 election of former Kenwood resident Barack Obama as President, the Culture Coast has experienced renewed tourist interest. It is also a key focus of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan, which calls for increased capital infrastructure for the "Museum Campus South" area surrounding the Museum of Science and Industry and the DuSable Museum.

Edgewater, Chicago

Edgewater is a lakefront community area on the North Side of the city of Chicago, Illinois seven miles north of the Loop. As one of the city’s 77 official community areas, Edgewater is bounded by Foster Avenue on the south, Devon Avenue on the north, Ravenswood Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. Edgewater contains several beaches that residents enjoy during the late spring, summer, and early autumn. Chicago's largest park, Lincoln Park, stretches south from Edgewater for seven miles along the waterfront, almost to downtown. Historically, Edgewater was the northeastern corner of Lake View Township, an independent suburb annexed by the city of Chicago in 1889. Today, the Uptown community is to Edgewater's south, Lincoln Square to its west, West Ridge to its northwest and Rogers Park to its north.

Edgewater was first developed around the 1880s as a summer home for Chicago's elite. Today, it provides the northern terminus of both Lincoln Park and Lake Shore Drive. With the exception of pockets acknowledged as historic districts (like the Bryn Mawr Historic District), east-Edgewater (Edgewater Beach) boasts a skyline of high-rise apartment buildings, condominium complexes, and mid-rise homes. To the west, Edgewater is characterized by commercial businesses; single-family homes; and two-, three-, or four-story flats, including the historic neighborhood of Andersonville.

Elizabeth Brackett

Elizabeth E. Brackett (née Everett; December 11, 1941 – June 17, 2018) was an American journalist and political figure and writer. She was known for hosting WTTW's Chicago Tonight program, and also worked as a correspondent for PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In 1988, she won a Peabody Award with her coverage of the 1988 U.S. presidential election.

Brackett was also an unsuccessful Chicago politician, having campaigned for William Singer as mayor in 1975 and making her own unsuccessful bid for committeewoman in the 43rd ward in 1976.

Grand Illinois Trail

The Grand Illinois Trail (occasionally abbreviated GIT) is a multipurpose recreational trail in the northern part of the U.S. state of Illinois. At over 575 miles (925 km) in length, it is the longest trail in Illinois. Parts of it are in the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail.Confirmed as a highest priority for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources over the course of several statewide Conservation Congresses, the Grand Illinois Trail is within easy reach to over eight million people. Those who complete a trail journal and confirm completion with the IDNR are granted the title of Trailblazer.The Grand Illinois Trail began life in 1992 when La Salle County residents Todd Volker, Bill Brown and Blouke Carus began exploring ways to connect the existing Hennepin and Illinois & Michigan Canal state trails. By completing a short 16-mile gap, a major span across the state---from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River---could be completed. This led to IDNR involvement and its decision to extend the trail across a much broader region of Illinois.

As a trail network, the Grand Illinois Trail offers much for riders. Since it routes through the prairie state, it contains flat and easy-to-ride portions through green farmlands and pastoral vistas. But surprisingly, the GIT gives touring cyclists special glimpses into much of the essence of Illinois: the hilly and picturesque geography of Jo Daviess County, Chicago streetscapes and Lake Michigan, the Mighty Mississippi Itself, the Upper Illinois River Valley, Small Town America and medium-sized cities and suburbs.Trail surfaces vary from asphalt trails to low-volume streets to limestone screened trails. Each trail section has its own special history and history of development: particularly noteworthy is the famous Prairie Path through the western suburbs of Chicago, which was the first long rail-trail development in America, along with the great Chicago Lakefront trail. The best long-section of the GIT is the southern section along the state canal trails, between Joliet and the Quad Cities. This southern section includes the Old Plank Road Trail, the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail, the projected Kaskaskia Alliance Trail and the Hennepin Canal, and is the northern routing of the cross-country American Discovery Trail.

Credit for the full development of the Grand Illinois Trail goes to planners Richard Westfall and George Bellovics, trail advocacy organizations such as the League of Illinois Bicyclists and the Openlands Project, and by numerous citizens working to improve their communities.

Grant Park (Chicago)

Grant Park is a large urban park (319 acres or 1.29 km²) in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. Located within the city's central business district, the park's most notable features are Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Campus. Originally known as Lake Park, and dating from the city's founding, it was renamed in 1901 to honor US President Ulysses S. Grant. The park's area has been expanded several times through land reclamation, and was the focus of several disputes in the late 19th century and early 20th century over open space use. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road and McFetridge Drive, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan. The park contains performance venues, gardens, art work, sporting, and harbor facilities. It hosts public gatherings and several large annual events.

Grant Park is popularly referred to as "Chicago's front yard". It is governed by the Chicago Park District.

Greenway (landscape)

A greenway is "a strip of undeveloped land near an urban area, set aside for recreational use or environmental protection". However, the term can in fact include "a scenic road" and though many are in urban areas, there are some rural greenways, as for example the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a hiking trail in southern New Hampshire.

A greenway is a trail (and sometimes a wildlife corridor) found in both urban and rural settings that is frequently created out of a disused railway, canal towpath, utility or similar right of way, or derelict industrial land. Rail trails are one of the most common forms of greenway, and they also resemble linear parks.

In Southern England, the term also refers to ancient trackways or green lanes, especially those found on chalk downlands, like the Ridgeway.

Jackson Park (Chicago)

Jackson Park is a 500-acre (2 km²) park located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community on the South Side in Chicago, Illinois. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park nearby neighborhoods, bordering onto Lake Michigan and several other South Side neighborhoods. Named for Seventh President Andrew Jackson, it is one of two Chicago Park District parks with the name "Jackson", the other being Mahalia Jackson Park for the gospel music singer in the Auburn Gresham community on the far southwest side of Chicago.

The parkland was first developed as the host site of the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) in 1893, memorialized today by the Statue of The Republic. The Museum of Science and Industry resides in the remaining "palace" in the park from the Fair era, and a Japanese garden traces its history to the Fair. The park includes woodland trails, playing fields, a beach, a golf course, and a boat harbor. It is the potential future site of the Barack Obama Presidential Center and library.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume (1,180 cu mi (4,900 km3)) and the third-largest by surface area (22,404 sq mi (58,030 km2)), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron (and is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia). To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart; the two are technically a single lake.Lake Michigan is shared, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Ports along its shores include Chicago; Milwaukee; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Gary, Indiana; and Muskegon, Michigan. The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwe word michi-gami meaning "great water".

Lake Shore Drive

Lake Shore Drive (colloquially referred to as the Outer Drive, but also sometimes as The Drive or LSD) is an expressway that runs alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through the city of Chicago, Illinois. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue (5200 North), Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S. Highway 41.

From the Chicago River south to 57th Street, it was named Leif Ericson Drive in 1927, for Norse explorer Leif Ericson. The roadway was also nicknamed Field Boulevard. The entire road was renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1946.


Lakefront may refer to:

Boulevard Lakefront Tour, non-competitive bicycle ride in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago Lakefront Trail, 18-mile multi-use path in Chicago, Illinois along the coast of Lake Michigan

Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, public airport on the shore of Lake Erie in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA

Cleveland Lakefront Station, Amtrak's station in Cleveland, Ohio

Lakefront, Syracuse, one of the 26 officially recognized neighborhoods of Syracuse, New York

Lakefront Arena, 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in New Orleans, Louisiana and was built in 1983

Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee’s first microbrewery to achieve Regional Craft Brewery status

Lakefront Consolidated School, school located in Tangier, Nova Scotia, Canada

New Orleans Lakefront Airport, public use airport northeast of New Orleans, in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a 1,208-acre (489-hectare) park situated along Lake Michigan on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. Named after US President Abraham Lincoln, it is the city's largest public park and stretches for seven miles (11 km) from Grand Avenue (500 N) on the south to near Ardmore Avenue (5800 N) on the north, just north of the Lake Shore Drive terminus at Hollywood Avenue. Several museums and a zoo are located between North Avenue (1600 N) and Diversey Parkway (2800 N) in the eponymous neighborhood. Further to the north, the park is characterized by parkland, beaches, recreational areas, nature reserves, and harbors. To the south, there is a more narrow strip of beaches east of Lake Shore Drive, almost to downtown. With 20 million visitors per year, Lincoln Park is the second-most-visited park in the United States.The park's recreational facilities include baseball/softball fields, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, cricket pitches, football/soccer fields, a golf course, lacrosse fields, rugby pitches, tennis courts, volleyball courts, field houses, a target archery field, a skate park, and a driving range.

The park also features several harbors with boating facilities, as well as public beaches for swimming. There are landscaped gardens, public art, bird refuges, a zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Chicago History Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, and a theater on the lake with regular outdoor performances held during the summer.

List of cycleways

List of cycleways — for all types of cycleways, bike path, bike route, or bikeway's transportation infrastructure and/or designated route, listed by continents and their countries.

Greenways and/or rail trails can include a cycleway−bike path.

South Shore Cultural Center

The South Shore Cultural Center, in Chicago, Illinois, is a cultural facility located at 71st Street and South Shore Drive, in the city's South Shore neighborhood. It encompasses the grounds of the former South Shore Country Club.

The South Shore Country Club was founded in 1905 as a suburban counterpart to the urban clubs of Chicago, such as the Athletic Club. The original building was built at that time, designed by architects Marshall and Fox in a Mediterranean Revival style. In 1909, a theater was added, but in 1916, Marshall and Fox were engaged to design a newer building, still in the Mediterranean Revival style. This is the building that still stands. Originally built as a Protestant-only club, later, Irish-Catholics were admitted.

Besides the main clubhouse, the Country Club also had stables, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a bowling green, and a private beach on Lake Michigan.

By the early 1960s, the character of the neighborhood was changing rapidly.

As Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore became racially integrated, the wealthy whites who formed the membership in the club started to leave the neighborhood in droves. In 1967, the club considered opening its membership to Jews (for the first time since the 1930s) and African Americans (for the first time ever). The decision at that time not to open membership accelerated the decline of the club; in 1973, the decision was made to liquidate its assets, and in 1975, the property was sold to the Chicago Park District for $9,775,000.

It was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1975.A coalition of neighborhood activists and historic preservationists successfully convinced the Park District not to demolish the buildings. Instead, the facility was renamed the South Shore Cultural Center. Over two decades, the main buildings were slowly renovated and repurposed. Other buildings were torn down.

Today the Cultural Center houses the South Shore Cultural Center School of the Arts (youth and teen programs, community art classes, the Paul Robeson Theatre, a Fine Art Gallery, two dance studios, music practice rooms, and a visual arts studio with a kiln). In addition, there are banquet facilities for rent for weddings, receptions, and meetings. The golf course is still in operation, and is open to the public, as are the beach, picnic areas, gardens, and a nature center. The horse stables are currently used by the Chicago Police Department's mounted unit. The building houses the Parrot Cage Restaurant, which is operated as a teaching program of the Washburne Culinary Institute. The Chicago Lakefront Trail (abbreviated as LFT) is an 18-mile multi-use path in Chicago, Illinois along the coast of Lake Michigan and runs past the center.

The center now competes with the Jackson Park 63rd Street Beach House and Promontory Point as South Side beachfront special use facilities in the Park District.

The building's exteriors were used as the "Palace Hotel Ballroom" in The Blues Brothers. The Cultural Center was the site of Barack and Michelle Obama's wedding reception on October 3, 1992.

On May 26, 2004, it became a Chicago Landmark.

Chicago Lakefront Trail
0 Edgewater Beach (41°59′15″N 87°39′15″W / 41.987362°N 87.654250°W)
to/from Wrigley Field at 2.8 mi (4.5 km)
to/from Lincoln Park Zoo at 4.6 mi (7.4 km)
7.4 Navy Pier
to/from Magnificent Mile
7.8 Chicago River
to/from Millennium Park + Art Institute at 8.5 mi (13.7 km)
9.6 Shedd Aquarium + The Field Museum
15.5 Museum of Science and Industry
18 South Shore (41°45′59″N 87°33′46″W / 41.766326°N 87.562725°W)
Shared-use paths


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