Chicago: Downtown & Central

Millennium Park and Grant Park

For a short, scenic, and easy run in central Chicago, we recommend combining Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, and Grant Park. We’ve mapped a 3.5-mile route to use as an outline, but runners will want to create their own route on the parks’ numerous paths. Grant Park, modeled after the gardens at Versailles, runs between Michigan Ave. and the Museum Campus. It is a treat to run along the allĂ©es of trees and paths, and provides a pastoral break from the elements along the Lakefront Trail. Scenic highlights include the Buckingham Fountain and numerous outdoor sculptures and monuments. The northwest section of the park features Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago; the southeast area bridges over to Museum Campus. A loop involving the main paths of Grant Park is about 3 miles.

Running the perimeter of Millennium Park adds another mile. A nice add-on is the adjacent Museum Campus, which is about 2 miles if the loop around the Shedd Aquarium is included. Be sure to include the BP Pedestrian Bridge, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. The bridge connects Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, running over Columbus Dr. and spans 0.2 miles.

Add-Ons: Riverwalk is just north of Millennium Park. Can also add-on with adjacent Shedd Aquarium/Museum Campus loop.



  • 3-5 miles, with options
  • Flat
  • Either park, connect to Lakefront Path as well
  • Accessible from downtown - see trail info for tunnels crossing Shore Drive