Previously an elevated railway, the Bloomingdale Line has since been converted into a public trail lush with grass, trees, and flowers. Located in Humboldt Park, only 30 minutes from the Loop, the 606 trail is a sight to see.
Not having much to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to go check it out. I wish I’d left a little bit later in the day because while there is plenty of foliage, there isn’t much cover from the summer sun.
I was taken aback by the construction of the trail. While I had heard it was a popular biking/jogging trail, I didn’t expect it to be so aesthetically pleasing and cared for. Looking into it, it appears Chicago received a $2million grant to convert the railway… so it makes sense.
I was also thrown off by the length of the path. While it may not seem like much, 2.7 miles can be quite a hike in the heat. Comparing the 606 to the Lake Shore Trail (a whopping 18 miles), 2.7 doesn’t seem so bad.
+10pts for Nature
Butterflies, flowers, and greenery are everywhere you turn on the 606. I expected some green, but not so much! I appreciate the juxtaposition of nature meeting concrete. While Chicago is notoriously composed of steel skyscrapers, you’re never too far from a stretch of nature to “get away” from downtown. If you’re interested in other nature spots, Lincoln Park is a great spot with a nature reserve.
The 606 also has a lot of drinking fountains, which is something I don’t take for granted anymore ever since my trip to Louisiana. It’s frustrating to be exploring a city or park where water fountains aren’t readily available. Of course, bringing a water bottle solves that problem and I’m lucky I have clean(ish) water to drink from to begin with.
There are plenty of spots to sit down and observe the surrounding neighborhoods and cars passing underneath the trail.
AND… it’s free!
It’s important to always be cautious wherever you go. While I’ve never personally felt exceptionally frightened in Chicago, bad things do occasionally occur. One of the safety perks of the 606 is that it has a lot of lights throughout the trail. Even still, pay attention to your surroundings and if you feel nervous, there are luckily a lot of exits throughout the path to exit the trail.
Having heard of the 606, it’s taken me two years to actually go see it for myself. The 606 is an interesting example of transformation and how a city can beautify unused areas. While there, I saw locals enjoying their afternoons with family, joggers, and cyclists. I would absolutely recommend checking it out if you’re in the area!
If you’re interested in similar attractions, check out:
Lincoln Park – large park near downtown that has a zoo, wildlife sanctuary, and butterfly museum
Lake Shore Trail – an 18 mile path that runs along Lake Michigan