The Outerbelt is a 210 mile route around the greater Chicago area almost exclusively in natural spaces and pedestrian infrastructure.
208.3 miles; 1,652' elevation gain
Hiking Project: https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7066013/the-chicago-outerbelt-route
- Submitted by Cameron Lansing
I don't believe this route is runnable as published. The track crosses gated and fenced private property in several areas. There are multiple instances of "trails" that don't exist and don't appear to have ever existed. There's nothing particularly wrong with having bushwhacking sections on a route, but that's certainly not what the website advertises. Anyway, we got 150 miles in and realized that we weren't going to finish in time for the crew to get back to work on Monday, so we pulled the plug. We had done so many re-routes to get around the aforementioned gates and fences that I doubt our track would have been accepted anyway.
I believe that with some work, this could be a great route. Most of it is really nice. Unfortunately, as it currently stands, it's really not runnable as an FKT; there are just too many places where you have to deviate and there's no guidance as to alternative routes. (It boggles my mind that they were actually trying to put a race on this course just a year ago - it would have been a disaster).