Best Places for a Bike Ride Around River North in Downtown Chicago

Chicago’s one of the best biking cities in the country. While you might not think going for a bike ride in the heart of an urban center as vibrant as the Windy City would be easy, it’s actually not that difficult. When you want to get out on the two wheels, we’ve found the best places for a bike ride in River North and downtown Chicago.

The biggest and most popular bike path in the city is just a few blocks away from River North. The lakefront path is 28 miles long, hugging the shoreline of Lake Michigan. A bike ride on this path feels like a vacation, especially since it passes several beaches, including the always popular North Avenue Beach. There are many places to stop along the way, including Navy Pier and the Promontory in Hyde Park. You can get to the lakefront path by riding down Illinois or Oak Streets. If you take the latter route, there’s a tunnel that goes right under Lake Shore Drive and exits at the base of the Drake Hotel.

One of the places you can access from the lakefront path is Northerly Island. Formerly the site of Meigs Airport, this man-made peninsula is bounded by the Adler Planetarium to the north, Burnham Harbor and Soldier Field to the west, and McCormick Place to the south. It’s a short trail on just 91 acres, but with its prairies, lagoons, and views of the Chicago skyline it’s worth the ride.

If you want to get to The 606, the elevated former railway that connects several parks and neighborhoods, follow Kinzie west to Milwaukee Avenue and then head north. Kinzie offers protected bike lanes, and Milwaukee is one of the most popular bike route for commuters heading to and from downtown, so you’ll be in good company.

In addition to these rides, taking side streets from one neighborhood to the next is often an easier and faster way to get around the city than driving or taking public transportation. For even more biking tips, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.