Lets come up with some other trips and get a good camping season in!
Any ideas for next month?
I figure, let's get planning...the new year is almost here.
I'd like to setup an easy one for the first time. This way, you can still go even if you're not interested in riding the whole way there.
Illinois State Beach Park
Second weekend of April 2015, 9th - 14th. The average temp for 2014 was 59 degrees.
The great thing about ISBP is you can ride the Metra to Zion for $7.25 each way, or a weekend pass for $7. After that the site is only about two miles. Theres a grocery store about a mile away. Kenosha is about 26m round trip. It's a good place to camp out.
Riding from my door is also one of my big criteria. Even my trip across the GAP/C&O let me ride down to the station before packing up the bike for the overnight train to Pittsburgh. Illinois Beach is roughly 40 miles from the Loyola area which is roughly ten miles along the lake from downtown, so maybe 55 miles from Hyde Park?
I've never found a good bike route from Chicago to Indiana. Most of my experience is heading north into Wisconsin which is much easier and has a lot more trail options.
I'm still on for this trip, though my dates have changed slightly due to work. I'll be arriving mid-day/early afternoon on Friday the 10th and departing on the Monday the 13th. One of the days will be a day trip to Kenosha as well.
Google maps details the bike only route from Hyde Park to ISBP at 53.6 Miles. That's close enough to enjoy, and still be out of the city.
The concern of alcohol bans isn't a concern at all. There are a few sites that don't allow it, but there are more that do allow it. I've been here four times and never had an issue with beer or liquor. Below is a map of the sites, detailing the alcohol/not alcohol ones. A larger version along with ISBP camping rules can be found here. Personally, I prefer the sites in the NE corner of the campground. All sites have a picnic table and fire pit with a iron grate over half of the pit. I spoke with Debbie Kloss(DNR/ISBP) a few days ago and she had said even though it was before reservation season, they would make sure to have running water on, possibly including flushable toilets and showers.
Those of you that are looking for a campsite within striking distance of the city - your waiting may come to and end this summer:
As for this outing, I'm still on the fence, but trying to make at least one night work.
If you don't have Memorial Day planned out I'm putting together a trip from Chicago to Madison. Two nights, two and two-thirds days and a bus back to downtown Chicago from the Wisconsin campus. Leave Saturday morning and back Monday afternoon.
Crap, hopefully you have wireless and will get this. I'm heading up tomorrow afternoon. If you can give me an idea of your lot and the rate I'll pay you for the Saturday night fee. Otherwise I'll keep an eye out for your bike and if I miss you get a site myself.
Look for another gray Trucker with all the labels removed.
Any ideas for next month?
The new campgrounds at Palos are supposed to be opening soon.
Friends have suggested starved rock...if anyone is up for a century...I probably would switch coolers but keep the same setup. I do love the new stanley cooler though: put ice in on friday, had the same ice emptied out on monday.
I'm thinking about another trip to ISBP in June...
I have been watching this thread from my "remote" Kzoo location and noticed a couple of remarks about a good route from downtown into Indiana or the Dunes area. Here is a trip I made from Union Station to Michigan City last year. It's a good route (surprisingly) with only about 5 or 6 miles on the street with marked lanes and/designated routes from the South Shore GC to Calumet City. From there the route is almost all dedicated trails, Erie Lacawana to Griffith, Oak Savannah to Hobart, Dunes to the Dunes. I found it a nice way around the industrial mess. Hopefully I will make it down this summer to join you for one of your outings.