There’s wonderful running in the upscale suburb of Evanston on Chicago’s north shore, continuing north to Wilmette, Kenilworth, and points north. Evanston is located 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, just north of the northern end of the Lakefront Path, with Northwestern University as its focal point. Sheridan Rd. is the anchor road in the area — though fairly busy with traffic. Here are some good running options in Evanston:
Waterfront and Northwestern University Campus. Northwestern is set right on the shores of Lake Michigan, and is lovely for running. Do a tour of the pedestrian paths of the campus, starting at the Visitors Center off Sheridan Rd. The heart of the campus is west of Campus Dr. from the Visitor Ctr. north to Lincoln St. (~1 mile). There’s also ~2.5 miles of wonderful lakefront paths, between Martin Stadium and Clark Square Park on Main St. We’ve mapped 2.5 miles between Clark Square Park and the northern end of the NW campus.
Residential Neighborhoods. Evanston is an upscale neighborhood, featuring leafy residential streets and attractive older homes. Create your own route on some of the smaller side streets in the area between Sheridian Rd. and the Channel Trail, and from Emerson St. south to Main St. Continue north to Wilmette and Kenilworth. The streets are especially nice between Sheridan Rd. and Green Bay Rd. A highlight is the Bahá’í House of Worship, which is just south of Gillson Park,
North Shore Channel Trail/Sculpture Park. This paved multi-use path runs through sort of a linear park along the North Branch section of the Chicago River. There are outdoor sculptures a lot of the way, and some views of the narrow river. In Evanston, the path starts at Butler Park (use Emerson St. to access), and runs for 6.5 miles south to River Park, paralleling N McCormick Blvd. If you’d like to combine the Channel Trail with the Waterfront/NWU route above, or the Lakefront Path, it’s ~1.7 miles inland — enjoy some of the residential streets to get there!
- Depends on route chosen -- see description
- Generally flat
- Numerous parking options. Also CTA transport access
- CTA stops are 1/2 mile from the NWU Campus