United States

Chicago: Suburbs

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Chicago's Suburbs

While there is plenty of great running in downtown Chicago, we realize that many visitors end up in the city’s suburbs — known collectively as “Chicagoland”. Each community has its own character, culture, and economy. And opportunities for running in Chicago’s suburbs are abundant.

This is organized in two ways: by type of run: Forest Preserves, multi-use paths, residential areas, parks and trails; and favorites by area. The overview map is helpful, too.

Most visitors to Chicagoland will have a car. But the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra commuter rail do reach into the suburbs, making getting around easy. Lines stretch as far as Indiana, for destinations like Indiana Dunes State Park. The RTA Trip Planner can help you find a way to your ideal running route.

GR Chicago Downtown Running Guide  Chicago Mag. Suburban ‘Field Guide’

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Chicago: Suburbs

Multi-Use Paths

Illinois has preserved the legacy of its railroads with an extensive network of multi-use paths. We’ve picked... more...

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  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
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This guide to the Chicago suburbs can help you find the right neighborhood for you.

Running stores and group runs are prolific in Chicago!

  • Road Runner Sports. Locations in Chicago (North Kingsbury St.), Willamette, Kildeer, and Naperville.
  • The Runner’s Edge. Libertyville. Group runs Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • Finish Line. Heart of Michigan Ave./Magnificent Mile. Another location near Millennium Park.
  • Fleet Feet. Seven locations around Chicago, South Loop, North Lakeview, Deerfield, Lincoln Square, Old Town, Oak Park, and Elmhurst.

Other running groups for training and events include the Chicago Area Runners Association and Universal Sole.

Check out Fleet Feet’s Chicago Race Calendar.