The Chainlink

The premise is this:
You ride out on an afternoon/early evening, find a camping spot overnight, camp, and wake-up and ride home the next morning.

This supposedly works well for those that would like to camp but their time is limited due to work and/or family schedules.

I don't know of any good camping spots within 20-30 miles of Chicago, but I know they are there. Who's interested in this sort of thing?

Best to start thinking about it now, so when summer comes it can actually happen.

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id be interested.
More like 40 miles, but Illinois Beach State Park has campground and its a nice park.
I work a bunch of hours regularly, and have this insatiable wanderlust. The S24O makes a lot of sense to me and some of my friends.
I've been wanting to do something like this, but same problem as Nick--don't know of anywhere very close. I've heard that the dunes are something like 65 miles away. Anyone have any experience camping there or anywhere else that'd work for a S24O?
Would taking Metra to slingshot us out a distance then riding the rest of the way be an option?
We can camp on the South Side over at the Concrete Silos' Just as long it is an all men's camping trip. Ok, tomboys and chicks with mustaches allowed.

The Columbia College Cycling Club (C4) rides from the south loop to indiana dunes state park every year for a one day overnight like you're talking about. When I was in high school I did a trip with the evanston ymca. We carried everything on our bikes - no sag waggon - from the UP back down to camp echo in Freemont MI in 10 days. It was AWSOME! My friend and I did another great route with his dad following in a van the next year - from the lelenau(sp) peninsula lighthouse down to ludington MI, took the ferry across to WI, then drove back to Chi. Great times.
Some Forest preserves have limited camping available. I did a quick search and DuPage county has camping at Warrenville in the Blackwell forest preserve. It's about 30 miles from the loop.

Other counties may have camping available in the forest preserves.

I'd definitely be up for a trip.
as for metra slingshot routes, a person could maybe go as far south as university park and:

a) go to kankakee river state park in burbonnais (30 bike miles)*5314+West+Rt.+102+Bourbonnais,+IL+60914+&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=41.157203,-87.499924&sspn=0.117871,0.265045&ie=UTF8&z=10

b) go to willow slough in morocco indiana (50 bike miles)


take the metra to joliet and go like 12 or so miles to channahon SP:,+Il...

FYI: ive never done any of these, so i dunno really, just spitballing here.
I recall reading a blog entry of John Greenfield's "Vote With Your Feet Chicago" blog a while back. Looking through the archives, I found this:
Car-free camping at Shabbonna Lake. Good stuff, and as I continued looking through his blog I see quite a lot more.

Grant Petersen, of Bridgestone XO-1 (and XO-2 etc.) and of course Rivendell fame published this one, which is probably something that inspired me quite a lot:
S24Os (pdf) and Camping vs Touring. I don't know what it is about that Riv Bike site, but I sure like reading it.....
the DNR has a handy list of state park campgrounds. "D" grounds are walk-in only. Chain O' Lakes State Park is a few miles past the Fox Lake station and has both cabins and scenery.

a few of us bikers went out to Beverly Shores a year ago by train -- but when we were there, met the Columbia College crew who'd obviously sought to upstage us by biking there!
That Illinois Beach State Park is about 50 miles north of Chicago.... does anyone know if the Green Bay and McClory trails are passable, or am I just being excessively opportunistic?

Thanks for that link, Payton, it's a good one.


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