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Does anyone have a safe route from Chicago to South Bend, IN or Niles, MI.?

I am just a little concerned about riding through Gary and Calumet. Perhaps I am worrying over nothing.  Anyone with experience here? I would be riding in the afternoon.

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This is a route to Michigan City. You can take if from there . . .

You've done this?




I've done the part from Chicago to Hobart on the ride to Valparaiso. Frank did ride all the way to Chesterton. I'm taking it this Saturday to the Shoreline brewery. This route follows, for the most part, Le Tour de Shore ride.

I rode from Evanston to St. Joe a few years ago (maybe three? four?).  I did a fair amount of route planning, but there is no "great" way through Hammond and Gary.  I left early enough in the morning that it was still pretty quiet by the time I passed through them.  Hammond is a bit on the industrial side.  Gary is, as ever, pretty blighted.  I had no trouble though.  My mental trip highlight was the billboard in Gary pointing the way to Michael Jackson's boyhood home.

I no longer remember my precise route.  There is a bike path running northwest to southeast in Hammond (Erie Lackawanna Trail).  I thought I traversed Gary on 23rd St, but maybe not.  Looking on Google Maps, there are some highlighted bike routes/trails, but nothing continuous.  A bit further south, it appears the Oak Savannah Trail goes all the way across Gary. I believe the Erie Lackawanna and Oak Savannah trails are part of Serge's route.

The next time I hear of cyclists having issues riding through Gary will be the first time I've heard of it - I've never had a problem at whatever time of morning or afternoon. Others who've had different experience should share, of course. 

I've ridden almost the same route that Serge posted - biggest thing is that some of the trails are poorly marked and I ended up riding around in circles inside Wicker Park (behind Cabela's) for a while before I could get my bearings. I prefer to ride a more direct route - it involves cutting through a gravel access road next to the railroad tracks by the Stateline power plant, and riding 5th Avenue through Gary, which turns into Dunes Highway, which is a nice ride on a nice day. Doesn't save a ton of time, but let me know if you want details. Going down 5th Avenue also takes you right by the Gary Railcats minor league ballpark, which is nice to stop into if you're into that sort of thing.

Here's what I came up with for the ride to Michigan City and back from Chesterton.

Follow-up: We did ride that route to Michigan City yesterday. Perfectly fine, at least on a weekend morning. Traffic was light, drivers (with one exception) were considerate, so we didn't have to worry much even on a narrow parts of the Dunes Highway without a shoulder (but, of course, we were careful).

Serge Lubomudrov said:

Here's what I came up with for the ride to Michigan City and back from Chesterton.

Thanks, all. I will try Serge's route.



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