The Lakefront Trail is one of Chicago’s best attractions. It runs north and south parallel and to the east of Lake Shore Drive. You can walk it, skate it, bike it or use Divvy bikes along the way. And the best part is it’s FREE. From north to south it’s 16 miles. The north portion is approximately 9 miles. Keep in mind the trail is very crowded on weekends with walkers, runners, leisure and professional bikers, inattentive texters, dogs and strollers, etc. Check out this Chicago Park District guide also. If you’re interested in heading south check out Exploring Chicago’s Lakefront Trail South.
We’ve provided the location of Divvy stations as of this writing and also provide an “exit strategy” to get you to a street where you can catch a bus. Guide to Divvy bikes.
Put on comfortable shoes, grab the sunscreen, a picnic and water and enjoy. Happy trails!
Navy Pier to Oak Street Beach 1.1 miles
Get onto the trail to the west of Navy Pier off of Grand Avenue. The Lakefront Trail Flyover is under construction in the area so follow the orange detour signs. First stop is Ohio Street (Olive Beach) west of Lake Point Tower (the large black building). You can grab a bite at Caffe Oliva or wade in for a swim. Open swimming is allowed at Ohio Street Beach.
If you want to Divvy a station is at the south-east corner of Streeter Drive and Illinois. For the summer Divvy offers Valet Service, where they staff a station with a Divvy valet who, when a station becomes full, removes bikes to open up more docks for riders to return bikes. Weekends 12pm – 6pm at Streeter Dr & Illinois St
Proceed north along the path to the next stop at Oak Street Beach (1 mile). There’s a beach house, a restaurant, Oak Street Beach Food + Drink, and sports equipment rental and restrooms. When you’re sitting at the restaurant sipping a cocktail and looking out at the water it’s like being in the Caribbean.
Exit strategy: Just north and west of Oak Street Beach there’s a tunnel at 1000 N. that will take you under Lake Shore Drive out to East Lake Shore Drive/Oak Street. If you head west on Oak Street you will hit Rush Street. If you head south on Michigan Avenue you can head to the top of the John Hancock Chicago 360 observation deck or go to the 95th Floor Signature Room grab a drink and admire the view. Walk south for Magnificent Mile shopping.
Divvy station Michigan and Oak Street. Exit strategy: grab a bus on Michigan Ave. For the summer Divvy offers Valet Service, where they staff a station with a Divvy valet who, when a station becomes full, removes bikes to open up more docks for riders to return bikes on weekends from 12pm – 6pm at Michigan Ave & Oak Street.
Oak Street Beach to North Avenue Beach 6 blocks
If you want to exit before North Avenue walk through the tunnel at Division Street (1200N) to Inner Lake Shore Drive bus stops. The closest Divvy station is seven blocks west down Division to Clark turn left on Clark. Station at Clark and Elm.
Staying on the path continue north for half a mile to North Avenue Beach. At this point you will have entered Lincoln Park so you might want to take a Free Art Tour in Lincoln Park. Or as you go by a statute it will be on the art tour list. Stop at the Chess Pavilion and play a game. Head on and grab a drink at Castaways, watch some beach volleyball. Check your email on the free wifi. Rent some water sports equipment and get some exercise. The boat field house with restrooms. Divvy station at Lake Shore Drive and North Avenue. Divvy Valet Service is available weekends 12pm – 6pm at Lake Shore Dr & North Avenue.
If you exit the path at LaSalle Drive and head west you can stop in at the Chicago History Museum. Divvy station at the Museum. Exit strategy: go to North Avenue and Clark Street to catch a bus.
North Avenue Beach to Fullerton Avenue 1 mile
Continuing on the path north take the pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive and proceed north through Lincoln Park. Get a drink at Cafe Brauer or continue north to the Lincoln Park Zoo. North of the Zoo is the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond. Cross Fullerton and check out the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (free on Thursdays). Double back to Fullerton and head back toward the Lake.
Divvy station at the Theatre on the Lake at Fullerton Avenue and the Trail or at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. For the summer Divvy offers Valet Service weekends from 12pm – 6pm at Theater on the Lake (Lake Shore Dr & Fullerton Pkwy). Exit strategy: walk west down Fullerton to Clark Street or come out of Lincoln Park at Stockton Drive (north-south street just west of the Zoo) for the bus.
Fullerton Avenue to Diversey Harbor 1/2 mile
Continue north to Diversey Harbor. Just west of the Peggy Notebaert Museum is the North Pond Nature Sanctuary. Or continue north to the Diversey driving range or play miniature golf. Sit on the steps and watch the boats out in the lake. There’s a Bacino’s Italian Grill just south of the driving range.
Divvy station: north west of the Diversey driving range at Lake Shore Drive and Wellington (3000N). Within the Park: Diversey and Inner Lake Shore Drive and Stockton Drive and Wrightwood.
Exit strategy: walk west through the park toward Presence St. Joseph Hospital and Diversey Parkway. Continue west down Diversey toward Sheridan Road to catch a bus.
Diversey Harbor to Belmont Harbor 1/2 mile
Continue north four blocks to Belmont. Check out the dogs at the Belmont Harbor Dog Beach (no people beach at Belmont). Loop around the top end of the Belmont Harbor to head over to the Archery range. Walk along the steps on the lake to the east or continue on the path at the west.
Divvy station (Inner) Lake Shore Drive north of Belmont north of the Chicago Yacht Club. Exit strategy: Walk west down Belmont to Sheridan Road to catch a bus.
Belmont Harbor to Addison 1/2 mile
Continue north to Addison. Head north past the Totem Pole and turn right and head east to the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary. North of the Sanctuary is the Waveland Picnic Field. Or stop at the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course and the Clock Tower Cafe, 3600 N Recreation Dr, (312) 742-7930. Exit at the underpass at Addison and walk west to Wrigley Field at Addison and Clark Street.
Divvy station: Pine Grove (one block west of Inner Lake Shore Drive) north of Addison. Exit strategy: Catch a bus on Inner Lake Shore Drive or further west on Broadway.
Addison to Irving Park Road 1/2 mile
Divvy station at Pine Grove and Irving Park Road. Exit strategy: Head west down Irving Park Road to Marine Drive or father west to Broadway to catch a bus.
Irving Park Road to Montrose Harbor 1/2 mile
Continue north toward Montrose. Half way to Montrose you’ll pass the Peace Garden along the Trail. Just south of Montrose Avenue at the north end of the golf course you can stop at the Montrose Nature Area. At Montrose head to the beach and grab a beverage at the Dock at Montrose Harbor. To the east of the Dock is the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Continuing north on the trail watch the dogs play at Montrose Wilson Dog Beach. West of the dog beach is the Wilson Skate Park.
Amenities at Montrose Beach include a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, free wifi. South of the recreational beach, is a wetlands, dunes and a bird habitat. You can also take sailing lessons at Montrose Harbor.
Divvy station: Montrose Beach. Exit the trail and ride east on Montrose toward the beach. Or ride west down Montrose under Lake Shore Drive to Clarendon (turn left on Clarendon) to another Divvy Station Further west there is also a Divvy Station at Montrose and Sheridan. Exit strategy: Walk west down Montrose under Lake Shore Drive to Marine Drive or further west to Sheridan and catch the bus.
Montrose to Lawrence 1/2 mile
Montrose Beach goes all the way north to Lawrence.
Divvy station Clarendon and Leland (1 block south of Lawrence) west of Lake Shore Drive by the Walgreens. Exit strategy: walk under Lake Shore Drive to Marine Drive and catch the bus.
Lawrence to Foster Beach 1/2 mile
Amenities at Foster Beach include a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, and free wifi. A popular dog beach is also located at the northeast end of Foster Avenue Beach.
Divvy station: Broadway and Berwyn (1 block north of Foster). Exit strategy: walk under Lake Shore Drive to Broadway and catch the bus.
Foster to Hollywood/Osterman Beach 1/2 mile
This beach (most people call it Hollywood Beach) has a beach house, sports equipment for rent, restrooms, free wifi and a food concession Nacho Mama’s Burrito Bar. A nearby nature area attracts migratory birds during spring and fall seasons. Osterman Beach is at the northernmost point of Lincoln Park. This beach is really nice and has great views of the city. Edgewater Beach Cafe, 5545 N Sheridan Rd west of Lake Shore Drive at Bryn Mawr, ( 773) 275-4141.
Divvy station: Lakefront Trail and Bryn Mawr. Exit strategy: walk under Lake Shore Drive to Sheridan Road and catch the bus.
To bike father north you will have to ride along Sheridan Road. To do this take the Lakefront Trail all the way to the end. Turn left on Ardmore. Turn right on the first street, Sheridan Road. This is a narrow road so if you decide to ride on side streets west of Sheridan Road keep in mind this is the Uptown neighborhood which is safe during the day but I wouldn’t ride around at dusk or dark and always be aware.
If you continue north of Hollywood Beach and move out into Uptown and farther north into the Rogers Park neighborhood here are the current Divvy stations:
Thorndale and Broadway, catch the bus on Broadway
Granville and Broadway, bus on Broadway
Sheridan and Loyola Avenue, catch the bus on Sheridan or the Red Line at Loyola.
Northeast corner of Sheridan Road and Greenleaf Avenue, catch the bus on Sheridan.