The 606 trail in Chicago

Recently, 606 1I managed to get a week to spend in the Humboldt Park area in Chicago. I  decided to walk every morning on a newly opened trail near the house. It is called the 606 trail in honor of the zip codes it services. This is a 2.7 mile strip covering parts  of Logan Square, Wicker Park, Buck Town and Humboldt Park areas, an east – west stretching trail  skirting Bloomingdale all the way from Ashland to Ridgeway.  I think it is also called the Bloomingdale Trail.

Every morning, I would get up and leave the house around 7am, catching the trail near Armitage. Almost every quarter mile there is an entrance/ exit ramp that allows easy access to this trail that is elevated. This was an abandoned train track that has been ingeniously constructed to serve pedestrians and runners along the blue, rubbery track and the rest left for bicyclists, young/ old parents with toddlers/ babies in strollers/ prams to run, walk or sprint.

As I walked every day for at least 3 miles, I was happy to note the diversity of traffic, young, old and different races. some would acknowledge my presence with a nod, smile or a ‘Good morning’. Apparently, when the trail was opened earlier this year in June, mobile art work was displayed and there is a plan to create more exciting projects for children soon. I observed that the west side of the trail has been well crafted with trees and shrubs and the work is slowly moving eastwards.606 5As I walked along I managed to see murals down below that adds color and beauty to this scene as well.606 7606 8This tr606 4ail has taken many years to finally come to fruition thanks to the generous contributions from people who come from different parts of the world who live here and love Chicago.  Every 0.1 mile there is a mile marker and at the end, middle and end, a lovely design indicating the four directions is also imprinted on the trail, a neat way for all of us to know how many miles we have traversed.

New York was one of the first to take a strip of abandoned railroad track area to convert it into a walking/ jogging/ exercising space for urbanites. They have also added little shops and have a wider space available even though the length is shorter.

Urban dwellers in Chicago deserve a quiet peaceful area for walks and exercise; those of us who live in the suburbs are very fortunate to have wide open spaces for recreation and hikes. The 606 is a boon for all that, plus an understanding to live in harmony with nature and learn about the various perennials planted along the trail and to acquaint one with the varying neighborhoods and its diversity  I wish this trail is not just a haven for the yuppies and the space is democratically shared by all in the Chicago land area.

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