I decided to check out Northerly Island when it officially opened this past Friday and found it to be the smoothest ride in Chicago. It’s only a mile around the path, but you’ll want to keep doing laps to fully take in all of the scenery. The path is around a lagoon and there are lots of little hills and newly planted trees and plants all around. Very few people were on their bikes or walking around that afternoon, but there were a few Segway tours.
I encountered one bicylicist who told me how happy he was the island was open again and that he’d waited forever for this. He told me a story about how the only three words his riding partner knew was “ON-YOUR-LEFT.” That type of person would not enjoy Northerly Island. He was glad that there was finally a place where you could appreciate nature while riding at a slower pace.
So while you can’t treat the path like your own personal velodrome, at least you can take in the sights of the lakefront and the city while surrounded by nature. I recommend a ride through Northerly Park if you want something quiet and different from the Lakefront Trail, or if you just want to escape and be alone with your thoughts.
Here are some pictures:
This is a view of Northerly Island from the Lakefront Trail:
So smooth, you can just hear your tires as you roll along.
Bridge on the south end of the island.
Rocks on the east side.
Facing Soldier Field