The Chainlink

Being super motivated since becoming an avid rider, I'd like to get a group of folks together to do a long distance ride (at least 50 miles) sometime in mid to late September weekend. I have a couple of places in mind (IN dunes, IL Beach state park, Wisconsin, Western IL). I'm thinking an overnight would be an order so camping is in the mix too. Not trying to re-invent the wheel by carving out a new route. Any ideas on established routes to far off places would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, post here!

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The trip up to Illinois beach state park (where there is camping) is a nice one. I did it in May. it is about 40-45 miles north of Chicago depending on your starting point.
The wyfe and I rode from the city out to the Two Brothers brewery a couple of weeks ago (free tours on weekends including free samples!) . I'm not sure of the distance, but by the time we got the so called "Family Campground" Dupage County's Blackwell Forest Preserve we had covered at least 50 miles. The forest preserve is much nicer than we expected. Also, Fermilab is very close so we swung through there to watch the buffalo for a while. There are some pretty nice campsites at Blackwell, but most of them, especially the electric sites are pretty tightly jammed together.

Our route was mostly on The Illinois Prairie Path.

A further out west option you might want to consider is the I&M Canal which has some super nice and quiet (because they are tiny and primitive) campsites right on the trail. Depending on where you start from, it might be > 50 miles just to get to the starting point though. There is a lot of historical interpretive stuff along the canal for those into history or transportation or the history of transportation.
The last 2 years me and my wife have make a trip up to Kenosha or Milwaukee. We took The Robert McClory Bike Path to kenosha then the kenosha coast trail? to milwaukee. There was some street riding and a lot of the path is kitty litter gravel. Its a fun trip though. It was a good feeling to stop and the big wooden "welcome to wisconsin" sign and take a pocture with our bikes. You can find a lot of maps online or we drvoe out the kenosha and stopped in at a bike shop to pick up a bike trail map of WI and used that in conjuntion with the IL bike maps. Hope i helped a little.
I myself wouldn't mind camping at Illinois Beach once again. Since I'll be coming from Milwaukee, does anybody know if the Robert Mc Clory Trail has an exit on Wadsworth Rd.? I looked at the Lake Co. map and found a bridge over Wadsworth. Also, given construction along I-94 between General Mitchell International Airport and the Illinois State Line, are there routes I can take that aren't overly loaded with car traffic?
The Mclory trail Kinda has an exit on Wadsworth road. I don't think it is official or anything. it is rather homemade. It is on the North side of Wadsworth just next to the bridge at the North end on the East side of the bridge. It is a seldom used dirt path that leads down to the road. It is kind of hard to see from the bridge or satellite photos, but it is there. I used it in May when I went to the Illinois beach state park.
There is always Starved Rock State Park in La Salle County. You can get there via one of the Grand IL Trail routes. But I would personally be up for going, and I dont really even care where to either.
GIT Map:
http://www.ipp.org/images/git-map.gif
I'm in for a long ride. Just let me know when and where we are starting.
A great link to the bike routes from Chicago to Milwaukee:

http://wibikeroutes.net/Milwaukee-Chicago_files/Milwaukee-Chicago.html

But why stop there? There's an even better, all paved bike trail that continues north:

http://www.interurbantrail.us/
There's also the 40-mile Military Ridge Trail from Madison, WI west to Governor Dodge State Park (camping). Here are some links below. I just finished the Dairyland Dare and so my info packet contained a bunch of interesting information about towns around this are as well.

Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/LAND/parks/specific/militaryridge/

Friends of the Military Ridge State Trail
http://www.militaryridge-trail.org/

Trails from Rails
http://www.trailsfromrails.com/military_ridge_trail.htm

Gov. Dodge State Park
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/govdodge/
This doesn't involve camping, but is an option! http://www.evanstonbikeclub.org/nsc/index.asp

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