The Chicago Lakefront Trail (abbreviated as LFT) is a 18-mile-long (29 km) shared use path for walking jogging and cycling, located along the western shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois . The trail passes through and connects Chicago's four major lakefront parks along with various beaches and recreational amenities. It also serves as a route for bicycle commuters.
The trail is located wholly within the Chicago city limits and spans from 7100 South/2560 East to 5800 North/1000 West. It is a dedicated-use path, although frequent intersections do pose a threat to path users. These intersections are clearly signed both to path users and motorists. From north to south, it runs through Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park.
|Chicago Lakefront Trail|
Some attractions along the path (listed from south to north) are the South Shore Cultural Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, McCormick Place, Soldier Field, Chicago's Museum Campus, Monroe Harbor, Navy Pier, Belmont Harbor, and the Waveland Clock Tower. The Lakefront Trail connects most of the Chicago beaches and three skate parks (31st Street, Grant Park, Wilson Avenue).
Several dog parks are accessible from the trail including Montrose Dog Beach and Edgewater Dog Park. The Edgewater Dog Park is situated at the northern trail head in Edgewater Beach.
Path maintenance is provided by the Chicago Park District. The Lakefront Trail is open 24 hours a day, but the parks and beaches along the path close at 11 PM.
From Wacker Drive to Illinois Street the Lakefront Trail shares the pedestrian sidewalk on lower-level Lake Shore Drive, which is very heavily congested during the warm-weather months. In order to reduce the conflicts between pedestrian and bicyclists, and avoid the very busy intersections at Illinois Street and Grand Avenue, the Chicago Department of Transportation has been designing the Navy Pier Flyover since 2000. This bridge will run alongside the upper level of Lake Shore Drive from north of the Ohio Street Beach to Illinois Street, and then alongside the lower level of Lake Shore Drive as it crosses the Chicago River, with an exit in the middle serving Navy Pier and DuSable Park. Construction began in spring 2014 and will continue until 2018. The entire 60 million dollar project is expected to be completed in 2019.