It should come as no surprise that Chicago is one of the strongest running communities in the country. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is typically the second largest marathon in the country—and often the world—with nearly 40,000 finishers each year.
Of course the crown jewel for Chicago runners is the Lakefront Path. The 18.5-mile path starts at Hollywood Avenue on the North Side and hugs Lake Michigan all the way to the Chicago Cultural Center at South Shore Drive.
In the far western suburbs, he Fox River Trail stretches all the way from Algonquin in the north to Oswego in the south, 43 miles in all. There are stretches that veer away from the river or use an occasional city street, but particularly in the northern part of the trail you’re never very far from the Fox.
The North Branch Trail links together the many forest preserves and green spaces along the North Branch of the Chicago River from the northwest side of Chicago all the way to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe.