Rising nearly 18 feet above street level, The 606
(which takes its name from the common numerals for all Chicago ZIP codes) officially opened in June 2015 on Chicago's west side, bringing together nature, science and culture and significantly adding to Chicago's urban playground.
The 2.7-mile elevated park and trailway provides bike and jogging paths, as well as ample green space, while connecting neighborhoods through the reuse of an old industrial rail line and re-purposed bridges.
The opening of The 606 is a big win for the expansion of Chicago's open green spaces, motivating visitors to get active and also to explore hip neighborhoods along The 606 — the park and trail system connects the vibrant communities of Wicker Park / Bucktown, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.
Get above traffic and discover this year-round city treasure with a walk or picnic in one of the street-level parks. Run the dog or take a family bike ride. Snap selfies from the numerous scenic look-out points, visit the seasonal observatory and take in colorful public art murals and sunsets.
Must-Stop Sightseeing Spots
A playful sprinkling of four ground-level parks make for abundant pit stops to relax, toss a Frisbee or enjoy a picnic. Julia de Burgos Park whimsically includes a flower-filled poetry garden and will host poetry readings.
Humboldt Overlook is a fantastic bridge stop with lighting and stadium seating for glimpsing the charming national historic district below.
Kimball Park features a picnic area, kids' play space, learning garden and local artists' graffiti garden, while limestone boulders and sugar maples line the path from Park 567 up to the trail. Look up for the billboard rotating local artists' works.
Ground-level Walsh Park is a Fido favorite with a dog run and baseball field. Watch for the upcoming wheelchair- and bike-friendly skate park. Visit the spiraling observatory on the trail's western Ridgeway Trailhead to take in solstices and equinoxes.
Art Along the Way
The 606 Arts Program will bring a range of temporary and permanent art installations and performances to the iconic Chicago project, along with new event spaces such as the Damen Arts Plaza. Expect to see special flowering trees, revolving installations and performances, participatory pieces, youth and multi-generational art and learning and stewardship activities that connect nature and culture.
A rotation of Trail Mix Event Series, hosted by The Trust for Public Land, will offer free and public events such as Family Days with fun, hands-on activities for children ages 3 to 12, and behind-the-scenes Conversations with Experts.
Great Eats and Drinks off The 606
Bucktown Pub: Grab a snack at this vintage watering hole with a tin ceiling and low-key vibe. Munch on gratis popcorn and ask about the beer of the month
Mindy's HotChocolate: More than cocoa, stop in for a casual lunch or decadent dessert at this farm-to-table restaurant by James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Mindy Segal *bonus The 606 is so close you can see it from the front door
Feast: Relax on the spacious patio with a glass of wine at this family-friendly neighborhood spot just down from the Damen 606 entrance
Belly Shack: Dishes surprise and delight with flavorful Korean and Puerto Rican twists. Order the lemongrass chicken gyro or the hot and sour tortilla soup.
- Le Bouchon: Classic French bistro cuisine and quaint décor make this a dreamy dinner destination. Try classic Parisian bites like escargot and steak frites.
- Chop Shop: Set in a former auto body shop in the heart of Wicker Park, this American eatery serves up Chicago faves like gourmet meats and cheeses, craft beers and live entertainment.
Where to Enter / Exit
The 606 runs along Bloomingdale Avenue for 2.7 miles between Ashland Avenue and Ridgeway Avenue. There are 17 ramps at 12 access points, approximately every quarter-mile, all of which are accessible to people with disabilities. Free, non-permit parking can be hard to come by so walking, cycling or taking public transportation is encouraged.
The easiest transit access is via the CTA Blue Line at either the Western or Damen stops. Also at the Damen stop is Wicker Park's shopping, restaurant and nightlife district at the Damen/Milwaukee/North intersection.
Take the Blue Line to the Logan Square stop and pass along the central plaza and towering Illinois Centennial Monument surrounded by hip bars and cafes, and stroll the boulevards to admire the historic homes.
Bike Share Stations
Find a Divvy bike share station next to Julia de Burgos Park, 1805 N. Albany Ave. in Humboldt Park. Other Divvy stations are at Damen and Cortland in Bucktown; Marshfield and Cortland in Bucktown; across from the Bucktown-Wicker Park library at 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave. next to CorePower Yoga; and Spaulding and Armitage avenues in Humboldt Park.
Learn more about The 606 trail, share photos and get email updates about the project at the606.org.
Photos courtesy City of Chicago, The Trust for Public Land