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Progress Toward a Continuous Riverfront Trail System

Newly announced trail investments in Chicago are bringing the city closer to having continuous riverfront trails. Many of the forthcoming improvements build on projects led by Great Rivers Chicago partners. 

Public riverwalk at Southbank development, at Harrison and the Chicago River.
Image Credit: Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago

Continuous riverfront trails have long been a dream for Chicago’s river (and bike!) enthusiasts. Our Great Rivers calls for river trail gaps to be identified and filled by 2030. The City of Chicago’s newly announced vision for a connected citywide trail network takes us one step closer toward achieving this goal.

Nine of the twelve ‘key projects’ that will kick off implementation of the $15-million vision are river-adjacent trails. Several of these plans build opon work seeded through the Chicago Community Trust’s (CCT) Our Great Rivers grant, ideas proposed in the Our Great Rivers vision, or ongoing projects being led by organizations that are also members of the River Ecology & Governance Task Force. Taken together, these projects show the continued momentum of the Great Rivers Chicago initiative and the growing interest of the public and the City in riverfront revitalization.

The nine riverfront trail projects are described below, alongside a map of their locations, ordered from North to South: 

To read more about ongoing riverfront projects, visit the Explore Our Great Rivers story map.  For more riverfront news, sign up for Great Rivers Chicago updates (scroll down to the bottom).