Peter J. Schulz
By Walker Post
Now that we have wrapped up winter and are transitioning into the spring season, it is time to throw away our bus cards and stop relying on CTA to get us where we need to go. For bikers and joggers alike, warm weather lets us do what we love to do. There are tons of places to explore in Chicago, and Lake Front Bike Path might be the best place to go this spring.
In total, the trail stretches 18.5 miles along the lakeshore of Chicago. From Rogers Park to 71st street, there are an abundance of things to do on this journey. The trail has places you can rent a bike, which is convenient if you don’t own one. Lakeshore Bike is a good place to rent one because they have two locations. One of them is at North Avenue Beach and the other is at Irving Park and Lakeshore Drive. Rentals cost 10 dollars an hour, 30 dollars for four hours or 40 dollars for the full day. This is not too bad of a price if you don’t already have a bike. I just got my bike-tuned up there and I’m impressed with the work they did.
The scenery is great as you travel along the route. One of the most popular reasons people travel to the lakefront is obviously because of the vast amount of beaches we have (if your’re wondering, it’s 33).
The best part about the trail is having Lake Michigan readily available wherever you are. The beach is always a good place to spend some time. I recommend Oak Street Beach because it is the perfect distance from the Chicago skyline. It is just south of Division Street. The water might be chilly, but give it a few more weeks. If the water is too cold for you, don’t worry. You can always get some grub at one of the many places to dine (the Montrose Grill is my favorite). From Oak Street you can walk 10 minutes south and be at the Lincoln Park Zoo between Webster and Armitage.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to stop by because admission is free and the animals are worth the trip. The last time I was there I got to watch two chimpanzees wrestling. I felt like I was watching Tarzan. You can even pet goats and feed cows. I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like to live on a farm, but I guess that was the closest I’ll get. If you’re more interested in hanging out with domesticated animals then I would definitely check out the dog beach at Montrose.
The dog beach is north of the actual beach and is fenced off. I take my dog, Stella, there a lot and she absolutely loves it. She plays with other dogs, but mainly focuses on chasing a tennis ball tirelessly into the water. This beach is the perfect place to meet new and friendly people, but you may want to watch out for the dog poop.
The Lake Front trail can easily consume one’s whole day. Besides the locations mentioned, there is also a skate park (off Wilson), basketball courts (in most places), and even a chess pavilion (off North Avenue). If you have never been on the trail before, decide on how far you are willing to travel and then just go places that interest you the most. We’re lucky to live in Chicago, take advantage of everything it has to offer.