The Lakefront Trail will open for pedestrians and bicyclists on June 22, but users must keep moving while they are on it. Beaches and parks east of Lake Shore Drive will remain closed with no set opening date.
“We are thrilled to be taking these long-awaited steps forward in reopening our city by … taking our first, cautious move toward reopening our beloved lakefront,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement, acknowledging "our fellow Chicagoans who have done their part to keep their communities protected by being responsible and preventing the spread of this disease."
Lightfoot closed the lakefront and other high-traffic areas in the city after users swarmed there on the first warm day of March, when COVID-19 was still spreading exponentially in Chicago.
The Lakefront Trail will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Currently, the Chicago Park District will not allow congregating, gathering or the use of park amenities like barbecue grills or beaches. Only walking, running, biking and rollerblading will be allowed.
Because of storm damage, pedestrians and cyclists will share one trail from 43rd to 51st streets.
Half of the more than 50 street, underpass and bridge access points to the Lakefront will be open to monitor and control volume; the Park District did not answer an inquiry about which ones between 47th and 63rd streets will be open. Security will work with the Chicago Police Department and Office of Emergency Management and Communication to keep the trail safe under guidance from public health officials.
Enforcement of the closure of the Lakefront Trail and parkland east of Lake Shore Drive has become increasingly lax in recent weeks, though security has strictly enforced the closure of beaches amid the ongoing shutdown.