Lakefront, 606 Trail and Harbors Reopen: Here's What You Should Know

Here's a look at what to expect

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Chicago's most popular trails reopened to the public Monday after a months-long closure due to coronavirus, but things are different.

The Lakefront and 606 Bloomingdale Trail opened early Monday morning. Chicago harbors also opened for the 2020 boating season along with South Shore and Sydney R. Marovitz golf courses.

Chicago residents had been waiting for a long time for the trails and harbors to reopen.

With the city continuing to move forward in its phased reopening plan, the reopenings represent another significant step forward, as testing numbers have remained promising throughout the city and suburbs.

Even still, numerous restrictions will still remain in place along the trails.

Here's a look at what to expect:

What are the hours?

Both the Lakefront and 606 Bloomingdale Trail will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. daily.

What is and isn't allowed on the trails?

No congregating will be allowed, meaning runners, bikers and walkers will have to continue moving. Those on the trails must continue to social distance.

"At this time, the Chicago Park District will not allow congregating, gathering or use of park amenities, which includes but is not limited to, stationary activities, fitness classes, barbeques, beaches, and picnicking," the mayor's office said in a release.

How will social distancing be enforced?

Social Distancing Ambassadors will be stationed along the trail to educate the public and manage the flow of traffic.

"Ambassadors will actively engage patrons providing guidance on appropriate social distancing, the importance of face coverings, as well as other health and safety guidelines," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Park district security will work with Chicago police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communication, officials said.

What will be open?

Roughly half of the more than 50 access points to the lakefront will reopen, but the remainder will stay closed in an effort to minimize traffic, officials said.

Due to the significant lakefront storm damage and high lake levels, three sections of the lakefront trail will merge to accommodate users. From Fullerton to North Avenue will be a shared trail. North Avenue to Ohio Street, trail users will be redirected to an on-street detour. From 43rd Street to 51st Street, users will merge onto one trail. 

While the trail will open, all other lakefront amenities including outdoor fitness equipment athletic fields and beaches will not. Chicago’s swimming pools and playgrounds will remain closed and no outdoor fitness equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts or athletic fields can be used. Parking lots will also remain closed for the time being.

In addition, beaches and parks east of Lake Shore Drive will stay shut down.

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