Soak in wonderful lake and city views on this easy and enjoyable trail


6 - 7









FATMAP difficulty grade



Combing a vibrant atmosphere with city and lake views, this is a superb linear hike along the edge of America's 3rd largest city, and the country's largest lake.

(Lake Superior and Lake Huron are bigger, but they're shared with Canada!) If you want to do the full hike you'll need to use public transit, but just doing sections of this trip is still fun, and logistically simpler. The Chicago Waterfront Trail is well maintained, smooth and easy to hike, so you can get on with enjoying the fabulous views and the big-city feel.

There are numerous points of interest along the route, including iconic landmarks like Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and several beaches like North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach. The trail leads you through several Chicago suburbs and gives you a taste of just how diverse the city's cultural scene is.

The scenery is equally diverse, with Lake Michigan dominating the view, and beaches, parks and skyscrapers only adding to it.

The best light can often be found at sunrise or sunset but regardless of when you hike, this is one of the best urban trails in America.