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looking for route from chicago to starved rock

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That twisty section going up the hill (actually inside the park) is my favorite piece of Rt 71.


Is Dee Bennett the road that goes through Buffalo Rock SP?  It's labeled N 27th road in my atlas.

When in Utica: Duffy's for burgers.

Bob Kastigar said:

mark stetson said:

Il 23 into Ottawa, then about 10 miles of Il 71 to Starved Rock.
Illinois 71, south of the river has some very uphill areas with blind corners to go around. A better alternative is Dee Bennet Road from Ottawa to Utica, then a short distance left to the entrance to Starved Rock.

Friend of mine recently went this way, and said to pass this on to the convo:


Can you let them know I rode last thursday and saturday. I made it to morselles, 20 miles shy of starved rock. The path is fairly well maintained but is crushed limestone and gravel. There is a small stretch that has been completely washed out when leaving morris. There is an unmarked detour on the roads just north of the path/canal. The 9mile stretch between senica and morselles totally has a creepy seriel killer/monster is watching you feel. The path has also been recently repaired in these areas. There about four rough patches with giant jagged rocks for 10-20 feet each. I had a lot of gear on my road bike and should have walked over these patches. In that stretch there were also muddy completely overgrown bits. All in all the path was awesome with lots of historical factoids. Nature. And architecture. But i was needing more repair after this years flooding. I might suggest finding street ways after seneca.


the unmarked detour is about a half mile long.

My friend and I recently rode from Joliet to Starved Rock a few weeks ago. I thought it was a nice ride, all things considered, I have a hybrid bike. This was my first time on that path, so I can't speak to the condition relative to the past. We found a few places that had washed out and had to take detours.

Here are some notes:

-There was a detour in Morris and the detour signs were easy to follow.
-Near Starved Rock, there was a big washout and there were signs posted to not proceed or risk prosecution, very strong language! A fellow we met along the way said the path had had been completely wiped out but that he had rigged a small bridge across the water. Proceed at your own risk!
-Curiously, there were other places where we came across signs that said that the path was closed to traffic coming from the other direction, though we never saw signs (or any reason) for closure on the other side. We couldn't tell if these were when the spring rains caused damage ir people just didn't want people going there.
-Nice State campgrounds spaced out along the way. We went during the week so in some places we didn't have to pay.

This was my second bamping (bike plus camping) adventure, I'm definitely thinking about another one. I'm thinking about somewhere in Wisconsin for the fall colors, if you guys have ideas, let me know!

Sound similar to the east end of the Hennepin Canal Trail:  some washed out places that you have to walk around, trail closed signs with no indication of options (no threats of prison time though), but generally no real problems.

This sounds like a really good idea.  Thanks for all the great tips too.

I plan on riding from Senica to Starved Rock this year. Looking for some bike buddies as this would be a lonely ride by myself. Let me know.

Hey, where do people camp when they do overnights to Starved Rock?

There are campgrounds about half a mile from the starved rock lodge.  I think it's something like 20/night for up to 4 people.

John said:

Hey, where do people camp when they do overnights to Starved Rock?

Nice! I like combining trains and bikes. So no problem storing the bike on Amtrak at Princeton? No box needed or other such absurdities?

MagMileMarauder said:


It depends on the Amtrak train.  Illinois Service  ( ) i.e. trains to Quincy, St. Louis, and Carbondale have roll on service.  Other trains that stop in Princeton but continue on out of state do not.

Amtrak rules require that you remove a front wheel and hoist your bike into the overhead storage bin.  If the train isn't too crowded some conductors might allow you to roll the bike into a handicapped area near the toilets.

Glenn Bradford said:

Nice! I like combining trains and bikes. So no problem storing the bike on Amtrak at Princeton? No box needed or other such absurdities?

MagMileMarauder said:

What do you all think about following the Fox River down to Dayton, crossing the IL River at Utica as an alternative to the I & M?   I think it would be a very nice ride from Yorkville on, but don't know much about getting out to YV from the city.

You might want to check out the BFF Bikes event we are doing this Thursday. Hopefully there will be a lot of people there who have routes they have used to starved rock. and elsewhere.  It's all about sharing information.


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