Flickr: the.urbanophile

The 4-mile loop of the Chicago Riverwalk is a great way to do an off-road run combining views of the water, the Chicago skyline, and some of the city’s architectural highlights. It’s a good standalone run, or can be combined with The Loop tour or the Lakefront and Park routes.

Join the Riverwalk at any convenient point. The easternmost end is at N. Lakeshore Dr. and E. Lower Wacker Dr, where the Riverwalk follows the south side of river and Lower Wacker Dr. for 1.3 miles. Great views of landmark Chicago sites including the historic DuSable Bridge, Tribune Tower, NBC Tower, Wrigley Building, Chicago Architecture Center, and the skyline. Just west of N. Franklin St., there’s a section on the road, crossing the river at W. Washington St., where the path continues for 0.3 miles, passing the Lyric Opera and Willis Tower, ending at Union Station. For the return, retrace your steps, with an option to run 0.5 miles along the River Esplanade Path along the north side of the river, including a loop around the Wrigley Building.


  • 4 mile (6.5 km) loop
  • Flat
  • N. Lakeshore Dr. and E. Lower Wacker Dr.
  • Good transport access in area