Pedal, walk or jog through Chicago neighborhoods on The 606, a new 2.7-mile long elevated trail and park system. 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 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.
Climb the wall at Maggie Daley Park
Just east of Millennium Park, and connected by a Frank Gehry-designed bridge, Maggie Daley Park rounds out Chicago's "front yard" with a wintertime ice skating ribbon, state-of-the-art play areas, and a 40-foot-tall rock climbing wall.
First-time climbers are welcome at Chicago's only climbing park, where custom-designed sculptural rocks and boulders are divided into a beginner and advanced wall with three different types of climbing: bouldering, lead-harnessed, and top rope.
Kayak from the Chicago Riverwalk
The new Chicago Riverwalk's aquatic options get visitors out on the water and paddling away. There are a number of kayak and paddle rentals that make for an unforgettable experience. Rent kayaks, take a guided tour or sign up for a lesson with Urban Kayaks. Tours are approximately 1.5 hours and include a short kayaking lesson and Chicago architecture and history insights.
Run or bike the Chicago Lakefront Trail
One of Chicago's most beautiful assets, its expansive shoreline, is on display in its full glory from the Lakefront Trail. The impressive 18-mile-long stretch extends from Ardmore Street (5800 N. Sheridan Road) on the North Side to 71st Street (7100 S. South Shore Drive) on the South Side.
The paved path is perfect for running, walking, biking or rollerblading alongside Lake Michigan and Chicago's gorgeous, green downtown parks. Beaches and gardens; recreation areas including playgrounds, soccer fields, volleyball nets and tennis courts; and amenities like washrooms, drinking fountains and concession stands are conveniently situated along the path as well.
OUTINGS NEAR MCCORMICK PLACE:
Run Northerly Island
Northerly Island is a nature area situated on a 91-acre peninsula with wild prairie grasses, beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas and a spectacular view of the skyline.
Nature lovers seek out this peninsula for its paved walking and biking trails around a 5-acre lagoon. View migratory birds and natural wildlife, including Monarch butterflies and Herons.
Explore the Burnham Wildlife Corridor
Anchored by the McCormick Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary in the north and the Burnham Nature Sanctuary in the south, the Burnham Wildlife Corridor (BWC) is a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through Burnham Park.
Guests stroll among native prairie, savanna and woodland ecosystems and reconnect with nature in this revitalized public green space, while five BWC gathering spaces serve as artistic installations and seating areas.
Paddleboard at 31st Street
31st Street Beach (aka Margaret T Burroughs Beach) offers a playful and peaceful setting with plenty of options for getting out on the water. Try one of the latest trends, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), with Chicago Water Sport Rentals or rent one of their peddle-powered hands-free Hobie Kayaks.
Those looking for a challenge will enjoy stand-up paddleboard yoga classes and Hobie Kayak spin classes. Open May through October. Reservations recommended.