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After living in Wicker Park for something like five years, earlier this fall I finally climbed up onto the Bloomingdale Trail to check out what was up there.

View from top of Bloomingdale Trail Chicago

The Bloomingdale Trail is one of those things that I suspect a lot of Chicagoans have seen, wondered about, and then went on their merry little way without ever learning more. Well Chicago, I’ve got your back.

The Bloomingdale Trail is the remains of an elevated train line that runs for three miles along Bloomingdale Ave, from Ashland Avenue to Lawndale. The elevated line was built by the Chicago & Pacific Railroad and was active into the early 1990’s.

Bloomingdale Trail map

The Bloomingdale bisects Bucktown, between North Avenue and Armitage.

Bloomingdale Trail from the ground

Why am I telling you all this?

Because the City of Chicago has a long term plan to turn the Bloomingdale Trail into a three mile long city park open to bikers and runners.

The City of Chicago and the Trust for Public Land have acquired key properties for three new parks and trail access ramps along the Canadian Pacific railroad line at Bloomingdale Avenue. One of the parks opened last month in Logan Square. The city has begun seeking proposals for preliminary design work, including studying the sturdiness of the embankment and 37 viaducts that support the raised railroad corridor from Ridgeway Avenue to Walsh Park.

Officials are hoping the project—the Bloomingdale Trail—could be completed within seven years. But first they face a daunting task: finding at least $45 million in government funding.


For more, visit the Friends of Bloomingdale Trail Website.