Top Running Neighborhoods Chicago

© Paula Masterson |

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or training for your first 5K, there is something to be said about getting off the “dreadmill” and out on the streets. And, there’s no better city to explore while getting those miles in than Chicago. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, complete with parks, trails and even a beach that can help cure running boredom and serve as a teaching tool about the city.

Aligned Modern Health has several conveniently positioned locations, perfect for running into for a spring tune up. Run out the door of our Wicker Park location, and one mile away is The 606, which runs the 2.7 miles from Ashland Ave. west to the Ridgeway Trailhead. There are myriad points of interest along the way, according to The 606’s interactive site map, including Kimball Park, Hammond Organ Co., Ludwig Drum Factory and Stenson Brewing Co.—a great stop for the end of a successful run.

If you live farther north, try our Southport or Lincoln Square locations. The Southport Corridor is a bustling street, perfect for runners who get bored easily. And, it features a lot of crosswalks instead of lights, ideal for runners who don’t like the stop-and-go aspect of running along city streets. USA Track & Field has outlined a great 4.80-mile path that runs through Lakeview from Clark and Southport, down the Southport Corridor, past DePaul and Wrightwood Park and through Wrigleyville. Our Lincoln Square location is conveniently located near Welles Park, which has a running trail that surrounds the park; Winnemac Park, which has a running track inside of the stadium; River Park, which houses two running trails; and North Shore Channel Trail, which is perfect for those training for a 5K.

Heading toward Lake Michigan, we have one of the most obvious running places in the city, Lincoln Park. Our Lincoln Park location is nestled right at the intersection of Diversey, Clark and Broadway, and Diversey will take you straight to the park for miles and miles of running pleasure. If you’re running with your beloved furry friend, Oz Park is a dog-friendly park that includes a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, complete with whimsical statues. Loop from Bucktown around Oz Park and back, according to USA Track & Field, and you’ve completed 3.84 miles.

If you’re done with trees and bushes, exit our West Loop and Streeterville locations downtown and head east out to Chicago’s Lakefront Path, which offers a solution for higher mileage runners. The southbound path tends to be a bit busier, but if you run north from downtown, you can enjoy the lake for miles up through North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, Lincoln Park, Belmont Harbor and more. If you want to brave the southbound trail, you can’t beat the view of the beautiful Chicago skyline. Either way, running with Lake Michigan’s beaches by your side is a great way to escape to the Midwest’s version of the beach while completing your running goals.