Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Trail to Try: Bloomingdale

One of Kate's favorite spots to workout
I’m a run-on-the-Lakefront kinda girl. It’s a straight shot east from my house to the path, a residence I liked even more because of its half-mile proximity to my favorite running spot. I’ve got my water stops pre-planned at least up until the ground starts to freeze and the park district turns off my go-to fountains. And it’s some of the most beautiful scenery in the Windy City—that alone makes it easy to ignore the fierce headwinds and swirling breezes that only intensify this time of year. I can say that because I fell in love with Chicago, and knew I could tolerate six to seven (or even eight or nine depending on the year) months of misery, when my dad and I drove in from the Skyway and up Lake Shore Drive to Evanston on a picture-perfect Saturday morning to deposit me at school for the year. Runners, cyclists, walkers, inline skaters, sailboats (close enough to the path, right?), you see it all, and it only made me want to get outside, too. Running in this town is infectious I tell you, always has been—the Lakefront scene that captured my heart happened roughly 10 years ago.

It might be hard to tear me away from that path, but it’s not impossible. And thanks to Time Out Chicago, I think I’m going to have to stray from my mainstay sooner rather than later to investigate the Bloomingdale Trail.

Three thoughts came to mind when I saw the magazine’s tweet about this trail. 1. Bloomingdale. That’s a suburb. It has an IKEA. 2. Must be a new suburban trail. (Cut me some slack: I’m totally city-fied and the most suburban I’ve gotten this year is an afternoon in Naperville for Mizuno shoe test and driving north on I-90 and I-94 to ride my bike.) 3. Enter at your own risk? What’s the big secret to this trail?

And then I found my answers. 1. Bloomingdale refers to the Northwest side’s avenue, not the suburb. 2. It’s a new trail alright—elevated to boot—but it’s only in the design stage. Apparently “no trespassing” signs aren’t stopping walkers, runners and partiers from treading. Heck, if I had learned about it before today, the accompanying picture makes me want to run it, too. I realize it looks nothing like my beloved Lakefront Path, but it reminds me of the multi-use trail I biked from Coeur d’Alene to the Washington state border back in July, something about those houses lining it. 3. The secret? It’s an old rail line with a plan for an elevated park that could take years to complete (unless it goes up as quickly as Meigs Field went down). And from the sound of it, it’s not exactly simple to enter. But have no fear, Time Out solved the entrance issues with four popular ways to get in.

One problem though: I’ll need to get there soon. Word spreads fast and if watchful eyes catch this tip and take action, I’ll miss out.

Have you run the Bloomingdale Trail?

Photo grabbed from Chicago Man at flickr.

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