The Chainlink

Hey all-- I'm relatively new to town, and looking for good (maybe already mapped out??) places to road ride, preferably near a Metra stop. I lived in Austin for many years, and the Austin Cycling Association had dozens of PDF maps posted on their site, for distance rides in the countryside around town. Suggestions?? Thanks.

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Trail Maps for North Siders and Wisconsin:
available for free over the internet from state and local
governments.
Illinois statewide bicycle maps
http://www.dot.state.il.us/bikemap/STATE.HTML
Wisconsin statewide bicycle maps
http://www.dot.state.wi.us/travel/bike-foot/bikemaps.htm
Chicago's bicycle map, lakefront trail to Evanston lakefront
http://www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/bikemap/keymap.html
Wilmette bike map
http://www.wilmette.com/bicycle/BicycleMap.pdf
Lake County bike map, Robert McClory trail
http://lakecountyil.gov/Transportation/Publications/More%20Publicat...
Kenosha bike map, Kenosha streets and lakefront, Kenosha County trail
http://www.kenosha.org/departments/parks/PikeBikeBrochure.pdf
Racine bike map, Racine streets and lakefront, Racine County trail
http://www.racine.org/maps.html
City of Racine bike map, Racine streets and lakefront detail
http://www.cityofracine.org/Depts/public_works/media/pdf/Bicycle_Pa...
Milwaukee Bicycle Maps, Oak Leaf Trail (Milwaukee County)
http://www.milwaukee.gov/maps4460.htm
New Berlin Bicycle Trail map (Waukesha County site)
http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/page.aspx?SetupMetaId=10888&id=10934
Glacial Drumlin Trail map (Wisconsin State Parks and Recreation)
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/glacialdrumlin/glacialdru...
City of Madison official bike map
http://www.cityofmadison.com/trafficEngineering/documents/BikeMap/B...
Hi Shaw, welcome to Chicago. We ride a loop that is anywhere from 30 to 65 miles most weekends, and leave from the South Side at Yankee Woods. There are Metra stops not too far away. What is your idea of a distance ride, and what speed are you used to riding at. We go out for fun, and ride somewhere around a 14-18 mile average. It is a really nice group, and always welcome someone new. If out speed and distance isn't what you are looking for, I understand, but many groups leave from there, some of which are quite fast. Let me know if you would be interested and I can guide you to there. Take care.

Glenn
I am not sure exactly what you are looking for but here's an idea for a really nice day of riding:
Find your way to Devon and Caldwell (ride there or there's a Metra stop at Edgebrook) that is where the North Branch trail starts, take it to the Botanic Gardens which is about 13 miles one way, stop at the Gardens for a short break, refuel/wander around and then bike the roads heading north to the Fort Sheridan area and into Lake Forest that's another dozen or so miles, make another refuel stop in Lake Forest and then head back. It's a really wonderful way to explore the north suburbs, about 50 miles round trip, let me know if you need a more detailed route.
One of my favorite rides is up to Mettawa and back.
Starting from the Wilmette Metra station (Union Pacific North Line) go northeast on Wilmette Avenue to Sheridan road.
Left (north) on Sheridan to Tower road in Winnetka. (As an alternative, you can just take Metra all the way to Winnetka).
Left on Tower (west) to the frontage road on the west side of the Edens Expressway.
Right (north) on the frontage road to Lake Cook. There, jog left and pick up the bike path (Skokie Valley bikeway, or something like that) on the northwest corner.
North on the bike path to Old Elm Road. Left on Old Elm (west).
West on Old Elm, which jogs a little to the right and becomes Everret Road. Follow Everret over the 294 tollway, until it ends at St. Mary's.

If you go left at the stop, you are in Daniel Wright Woods, a great place for a picnic, and a good place to pick up the Des Plains River trail if you wish. Roadies, however, turn right on St. Mary's Road, and head north. Some go up to Route 176. I go right at Old School.

Turn Right (east) on Old School Road to Bradley.
Right on Bradley (south) to Everett (have to go though a commercial park) (If you need food/Gatorade at this point, there is an access road to the Lake Forest Oasis on the tollway off of Bradley, which has a convenience store. Judging from the reaction I got, they don't get many bike-riding customers on the tollway).
Left (east) on Everett, which turns into Old Elm again. When you get back to the bike path, you can back-track from there, or you can stay on Old Elm to Fort Sheridan, ride through the village and pick up Sheridan Road on the other side for the return trip. (There is a Metra stop at Fort Sheridan, which would also be a starting point for a shorter loop to Mettawa and back.)

Notes about facilities: On Ridge road, just south of Old Elm (near the bike path), there is a park with water and restrooms. It is about 15 miles from Wilmette to the park, then a 15 mile loop out to Mettawa and back, and then 15 miles to get back to Wilmette. I usually stop to refill either on the way out or the way back, or sometimes both. Also, there is a pond, but no drinking water at Daniel Wright Woods.

A variation on the trip is to go left (north) on Bradley Rd., over the tollway, to Route 176.
Right (east) on the bike path parallel to 176 and and ride it into Lake Bluff.
Right on the Robert McClory trail and head south to Lake Forest. You could stay on the trail all the way back to Wilmette, and there are about 10 Metra stops along the way where you could bail out, but you'd be missing the best roads. Make your own route through Lake Bluff/Lake Forest/Fort Sheridan/Highland Park. Mayflower and Ringwood in Lake Forest are terrific.

I haven't been up that way since this fall. I sure hope the weather is decent this weekend.
I like the Prairie path, I am in oak park, so maywood is next door. The trails go all over the far west side to the fox river. The map for it kind of sucks but gives a general idea. You can get to it pretty easy from the forest park end of the blue line.

There are more trails off of these, I do a loop that includes the great western trail


Are parts of the prairie path still unpaved/ gravel? I had an unpleasant ride out there on a road bike a few years ago.

on2wheels said:
I like the Prairie path, I am in oak park, so maywood is next door. The trails go all over the far west side to the fox river. The map for it kind of sucks but gives a general idea. You can get to it pretty easy from the forest park end of the blue line.

There are more trails off of these, I do a loop that includes the great western trail

The Parts I have been on, the main branch from maywood and the engin branch to the great western is either paved or crushed limestone, which is very well packed, no gravel, just dust.


heather stratton said:
Are parts of the prairie path still unpaved/ gravel? I had an unpleasant ride out there on a road bike a few years ago.
on2wheels said:
I like the Prairie path, I am in oak park, so maywood is next door. The trails go all over the far west side to the fox river. The map for it kind of sucks but gives a general idea. You can get to it pretty easy from the forest park end of the blue line.

There are more trails off of these, I do a loop that includes the great western trail
I made a Map My Ride so you can see the trail, let me know if the link works

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/il/dupage%20county/62912397467668...

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