Did You Know?

Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

A new trail to connect Lake Calumet area

Chicago’s Far South Side is an area rich in historical, cultural, and open space destinations.

From Pullman National Monument to Big Marsh Park and the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, the area has no shortage of popular spots for Chicagoans to visit and enjoy.

Unfortunately, a lack of safe walking and biking connections to these spots makes accessing them difficult for many residents who can’t or don’t drive.

The geography, infrastructure, and heavy industry in the area present many significant obstacles, including large arterial roadways, active railroad lines, and waterways — all of which cut off many residents and visitors from easily and safely accessing these destinations and neighboring communities.

The good news is that Active Trans has been working closely with community leaders, partner organizations, and elected officials toward improved walking, biking, and transit access in this area.


In 2017, we teamed up with the Illinois International Port District to apply for funding to study the feasibility of a multi-use trail over and around Lake Calumet. This trail, identified as a top priority in numerous regional and city plans, would open up new transportation and recreational opportunities and create a direct connection from the Pullman neighborhood to Big Marsh Park.

Our search for funding for the project resulted in success in 2019 when we secured two grants from the Invest in Cook Program and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program.

The Lake Calumet Trail Feasibility Study officially kicked-off in the summer of 2020. Active Trans led community engagement through a community survey and meetings with various community stakeholders.

Our engineering consultant, Epstein, studied local environmental and engineering conditions to determine the feasibility of several potential trail alignments over the lake.


Now we are excited to share our vision for a Lake Calumet Trail connecting Pullman to Big Marsh Park.

Join us for a Virtual Open House on Wednesday, September 22, noon to 1 p.m., to learn more about the proposed trail, findings from the study, and other nearby initiatives (please register in advance).

Elected officials will be on hand at the event, as will representatives from Epstein Engineering, Friends of Big Marsh, Pullman National Monument, and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

The project team will also be sharing details about the study at the 4th Annual Birds, Bikes, and Beats event on Saturday, September 18, at Big Marsh Park.

Learn more about the project and upcoming events. 



This blog article was co-authored by Alex Perez and Maggie Czerwinski.

Photo courtesy of the Lake Calumet Trail Feasibility Study. 

The Active Transportation Alliance is able to carry out its work thanks to support and donations from people like you. If you’re not a member of Active Trans, please join us. Already a member? Consider donating to ensure that this important work keeps moving forward.