Englewood Nature Trail

Englewood Nature Trail

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Department of Planning and Development (DPD) are seeking community input on the conversion of an unused railroad corridor in Englewood into a 1.75-mile multiuse path.

Englewood is primarily a residential neighborhood with commercial uses on arterial streets. The rail corridor dates to 1917, when the Pennsylvania Railroad created an elevated railway to serve industrial businesses that were located near 59th Street, also to connect with other area rail lines and facilities. Trains have not operated on the railway since the early 1960s, when most industries located on the corridor had closed or relocated. Environmental contamination from former industrial uses still remains on several adjacent lots.

The proposed trail project is the result of extensive public input that in 2014 led to the Chicago Plan Commission's adoption of the "Green Healthy Neighborhoods Plan," which envisions the trail serving as the spine of an urban agriculture district that occupies adjacent land, along with other productive uses.

The rail line runs east-west along an elevated berm, crossing 26 viaducts and terminating on the east near Wallace Street and on the west near Hoyne Avenue. The corridor's width ranges from 50 to 100 feet and encompasses more than 17 acres.

In 2018, the City acquired the corridor land from its most recent owner, the Norfolk Southern Railroad. In spring 2022, the City allocated $6 million in phase one design funding toward the proposed trail project. In summer 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $20 million in grant funding to support the design and construction of the project.

CDOT and DPD are committed to pursuing the vision for the trail with community partners. This page will be periodically updated with information about public engagement opportunities involving potential design, funding, construction and management.

Greater Englewood stakeholders are invited to participate in a series of development framework meetings for the planned Englewood Nature Trail. The framework process, which began with a June 2022 kickoff meeting, is being led by the Chicago Department of Planning & Development and the Department of Transportation with the assistance of a design team that includes Gensler, PRI, Botanical City Landscape and Grow Greater Englewood (GGE).

In August 2022, City and federal officials announced the allocation of $20 million in grant funding toward the Englewood Nature Trail. Click here to learn more about the funding news.