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Lets come up with some other trips and get a good camping season in!

Any ideas for next month?

Past post:

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.

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Marc: Looks like a good trip...I'm interested in going over to Weko dunes sometime. I've always chosen them over Warren dunes because of the state park restrictions in Michigan.


I don't mean to derail this thread. You can e-mail me at  I did not  know bikes were allowed on the train that goes towards Michigan. I have friends in KZoo and  was considering a trip where I would  train to Doagiac or Niles and bike to KZoo and then elsewhere. Let me know anything about bikes rolling on and off the train that goes in that direction. Thanks and sorry bike campers, back to  regularly scheduled discussion....

Did this happen???

April seems to have *almost* come and gone already.

May seems like a viable option?


This Totally Happened! I've updated the main photo to show the site we were on. It was only the GF and I, but It's okay, we still had a great time and Kenosha was a ton of fun.

In May, I'll be camping in Ohio for my trip, so if someone wants to set something up for a local event during May, feel free. 

In June, I'm thinking about another trip to Illinois State Beach Park, maybe another four day weekend. 

Keep me in the loop on this, a trip to Illinois State Beach Park would be an unusual treat for me.  I was planning another ride along the Michigan coast, but, you know... been there, done that. 


With the wedding coming up, we've been lagging in our camping plan. But this past weekend we figured out when we'd be free and just booked a bunch of camping sites.
The only ones we'll be driving to is Kettle Moraine at the end of May.

June 12-14, we'll be bike camping at ISBP. The wife and I will be leaving Friday afternoon and ride to Zion and set up camp. Saturday morning we'll ride to Kenosha and grab lunch there. We'll pack up and ride back on Sunday. Anyone is welcome to come and we'll just get the walk-up sites.

Reservations Now Available at Camp Shabbona Woods!

Just got the email last night - 4 more sites coming soon:

Camp Sullivan (Oak Forest)

Camp Reinberg (Palatine)

Camp Dan Beard (Northbrook)

Camp Bullfrog Lake (Willow Springs)

More info:

Hi Guys, 

Longtime lurker ready to return to active posting.

Providing weather looks decent (looking a little meh right now):

I'm thinking of doing a 24/sub24 trip from Chicago to IL Beach State Park. Leaving Saturday morning May 8, coming back Sunday May 9. 

Obviously, a bunch of you all have done this before.

A few questions - 

Google maps says 44 miles via the McClory that the best way? It looks fine but advice from those who've done it before would be nice.

What is IL Beach Park like? I've backpacked n camped for most of my life, and am a huge fan of packing it all in, leaving no trace, etc. I'm 100% solid on any/all gear I might need. I know that IL Beach State Park isn't that sorta place, but what sorta place is it? Surrounded by car campers and families? Is there actually any distance between sites? It doesn't look like there is, which isn't an issue, it's just nice to know. And yeah, the alcohol thing. Noted. 

I took the McClory trail the one time I biked up there and it was great. It's a straight shot for the most part so you can kind of zone out. There was one stretch (I forget where) that was a little sketchy to me as a lone female rider but otherwise it's a great route and I might have just been a bit paranoid as I was on my way to my first night of solo bike camping! 

The park isn't very wild and there's little (no?) hiking. There are some abandoned/closed off roads north of it that are AWESOME for biking around on...felt kind of post-apocalyptic when I was there. It's a weird place which is its main selling point for me! The campsites aren't super close or super far from each other- kind of the standard distance that you find at most state parks but they're not heavily wooded so you don't have much privacy. It's a fun place to go for your first time bike camping or if you just want a pretty easy ride and a place to relax at that evening. Not sure if I'd stay there more than one night in a row unless I had a good book that I wanted to spend lots of time with. 


Here's the notes I wrote down at the time about best campsites there:

"nice sites: 144-149, 363, 368, 371, 308, 209 (though 209 is in no alcohol area). sites 108-149 face west so you'd see the sunset but are further from the beach (though not very far). avoid 341-362 b/c it's all RVs there"  [additional note on sites- I didn't think there were any actually bad sites here and only half are reservable]

I felt the very same way about the McClory trail - as a woman by myself, I felt a little uneasy for several miles but wouldn't have thought twice if I wasn't alone. It's a nice ride. 


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