South Austin is located on the west side of Chicago. It is located 10 miles outside of the downtown area. It is well-known for being home to several historic buildings and areas that are on the National Register of Historic Places including Austin Historic District, Columbus Park, and the Austin Town Hall Park which is modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia!
South Austin is a mix of residential and commercial areas. The residential parts of the neighborhood typically have standalone family homes with a few renovated, but smaller, apartment complexes. Additionally, there are several greenways located in the more residential areas of town. The commercial areas of town are home to chain restaurants, stores, churches, schools, and a hospital. There is also easy access to public transportation.
South Austin experiences all four seasons so you may experience freezing temperatures and snow in winter with beautifully warm days with a mid-levels of humidity in summer.
Made of mostly artificial terrain with some accessible, public parks, walks in South Austin should be relatively easy. Walks will be mostly flat, as Chicago and the state of Illinois are predominately flat areas, and there are plenty of available sidewalks throughout the community, which help create safe walking environments. If you're looking for a more intense hike or other challenging walking experiences, you may want to seek out a place outside of the city. More commercial areas only have wide sidewalks and no grassy areas, so walking there may be difficult should your pet need to relieve themselves.
The borders of South Austin include South Cicero Avenue to the east, Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway to the south, South Austin Boulevard to the west, and part of Chicago’s Metra Rail to the north. These are all major roadways, especially Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway, so you may want to keep your walks more centrally located.
If you are looking for a longer walk or more people watching, there are plenty of greenways in the South Austin neighborhood! The largest of these greenways is Columbus Park, located in the southwest corner of the area. This 135-acre park, which is deemed a National Historic Landmark, includes a fitness center, a banquet room frequently used for weddings and events, a bicycle path, a golf course, sports facilities, and a nature area. This is a great option if you’re looking for a quick escape from Chicago’s more urban environment without ever leaving town!
Other greenways include Moore Park, Cottonwood Playlot Park, and Park 413. There also plenty of other parks and public greenways just beyond the neighborhood’s borders including Austin Town Hall Park, Hubbard Playlot Park, Kinzie Parkway Park, and Stevenson Park, should you be up for a longer adventure! Just remember to observe any rules regarding keeping your dog on a leash.