The Bloomingdale Trail
6 August 2019
The High Line is New York’s 1.45-mile long elevated green park — but Chicago has something even better. The Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago is a 2.7-mile elevated trail that’s bringing new life to Chicago’s northwest side.
History of The Bloomingdale Trail
The Bloomingdale Trail is not only Chicago’s hottest greenspace, but it’s recycled. The trail was a railroad track named The Bloomingdale Line, first elevated in 1910. The rail ran for nearly 100 years until usage waned in the 80s and eventually stopped altogether in the 90s.
The tracks became overtaken by nature. Some people ventured onto the tracks, where they discovered a beautiful green space to stroll and see magnificent city skyline views. A nonprofit community involvement group formed, named Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail (FBT) to advocate for the track to be repurposed for official use.
It was years in the making, but FBT eventually partnered with the Chicago Park District and The Trust for Public Land, among others, to design and develop ideas for the park. These ideas were laid out in the 2004 Logan Square Open Space Plan as part of efforts to bring more open space to the underserved northwest side of the city.
The Bloomingdale Trail is the elevated pathway itself, while The 606 refers to the entirety of the trail, its bridges and connected parks.
In 2015, The 606 was officially opened to the public. Four neighborhoods — Logan Square, Wicker Park, Bucktown and Humboldt Park — and four parks — Walsh Park, Churchill Field, Kimball Park and Magid Glove — make up The 606, connected by its backbone, the elevated Bloomingdale Trail.
An interactive corridor and living work of art, the trail is an alternative transportation corridor where pedestrians, joggers and bikers alike can enjoy stunning city views, access to green space and the vitality of the surrounding neighborhoods.
You can rent a bike at one of the surrounding Divvy stations, or go it on foot. There are countless restaurants, bars and shopping to be discovered in the neighborhoods along the trail.