Chicago Lakeshore Path: South Hike
Enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline as you hike along this strip of parkland that links the city and the lake. Pass Chicago landmarks such as Soldier Field, the Field Museum, and Buckingham Fountain. Chicago would be unthinkable without the great expanse of Lake Michigan at its doorstep. The Lake Michigan shoreline not only offers city dwellers refuge from the relentless concrete grid, but if you live in Chicago, it’s probably the most accessible place where you can run, walk, cycle, and skate uninterrupted for miles. Indeed, for a great number of Chicagoans, a trip to the lake is synonymous with following this path as it snakes by harbors, museums, high rises, and acres of moored boats. For those who prefer a less busy ramble on the Lakeshore Path, this south section is the place to go. This hike also offers a nice way to combine a shoreline stroll with a visit to one of the world-class museums along the way. (This strategy also allows you to avoid the high cost of parking downtown or near the museums.) Thirty-first Street Beach, where this hike begins, hosts a playground, beach, beach house, restrooms, and a snack shop. North of the beach house, Burnham Park is fairly open and grassy with plenty of new trees planted. In recent years, the city has re-landscaped parts of the park and rerouted this and other sections of the south path. These changes have been happening in conjunction with a multiyear citywide effort to replace the revetments—the structures on the shoreline that protect the land from the pounding of the waves. Some people who walk this section of the lakeshore stay close to the shoreline on the grass or on the new concrete revetments rather than following the path. When the path is busy with bikers and in-line skaters, this is a good option.
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Trail Statistics & Information
|Season||Open Year Round|
|Trailhead Elevation||600 ft|
|Top Elevation||600 ft|
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