Touring - East St. Louis Illinois Routes?
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09-16-05, 07:47 PM
We're in the early stages of planning our TransAm trip. We plan to ride from east to west, and we plan to stay on the route most of the trip except when we enter Illinois. We will turn a bit north and spend a full rest day at Scott AFB. Then work our way over to St Charles via Alton, and then spend five days on the Katy trail. After Clinton MO. we'll work our way back onto the TransAm trail.
A couple of questions for you St Louis riders are: Looking at my Illinois cycling maps it looks like there may be a bike route on the east side of the Mississippi, is this path there? 2nd, if there is no bike route we look to go directly north from Scott to O' Fallon to Troy...we were down in that area this past Wednesday and that route has great shoulders up to about a mile short of Troy...Cool! After Troy we don't really have any knowledge of a good route to Alton...
Any help from you St. Louis area riders will really be appreciated.
There are tons of paved county roads that will connect you from Troy, Edwardsville to Alton. You need to find a map of Madison County, this will show the back roads which lace the area. Once you get to Edwardsville, go through the SIU campus and connect to Pouge, Wanda, Wood River then into Alton.
Also, just after you cross the mississippi river at Alton, there are county roads that go through the bottom lands, and right into St Charles, find these on a map also, much better route from Alton to St Charles.
Madison County seat is in Edwardsville, they can help with maps.
Have fun this is an interesting area, loads of indian burial mounds and history.
09-17-05, 07:16 PM
Alright! Shifty this is most encouraging! Thanks a Bunch!
Oh, one more thing. Lewis and Clark camped just south of Wood River (Camp Dubois) before starting up the Missouri River, just across the Mississippi from the camp. There were lots of things scheduled for the bi-centinial at the site, which is just off of Ill. Rt. 3.
You can connect here from the SIU campus on country roads too, just in case you are interested. I recommend county roads in this area because the main roads have no shoulders, and the drivers are, well, nuts! Besides the country roads are beautiful in fall.
Gus, riding east to west will give you strong head winds in most of the western states, combined with mountains you'll need to allow extra time. Just so you know, better to go west to east.
Good riding! :)
09-18-05, 06:24 AM
http://www.mcttrails.org/ for madison county trails, which can take you from Edwardsville to alton and beyond. If you're going to St. Charles, you can cross the bridge at Alton, and wind your way parallel to Mo 94 (I wouldn't recommend it, no shoulders and fast traffic dependong on when you ride it; there are back roads that you can use- use google maps ), or you can continue up the river road trail and cross at the Brussels or Grafton Ferry. The Grafton ferry will put you in Mo fairly close to St. Charles with good backroads into St. Charles- Grafton ferry rd, Pleasant Union, Blase Station (V), Washeon, then Elm Pt or Boschertown.
If I was doing it (and I wish I was), I'd use the Grafton ferry route. Ferry will cost you 3.00 bucks. Water and restrooms available in Alton, Elsah, Piasa Harbor, Grafton. Good luck!
09-18-05, 08:27 AM
This is outstanding advice, we'll check it out! Thanks
09-18-05, 09:10 AM
Okay, by the looks of the advice given, we should be able to get north of Troy with no problems to Rt 143 to Edwardsville. Then work our way through Edwardsville to the Watershed Trail which goes over to East Roxana. We can then go south on Wanda Rd to New Poag Rd then going west for 3.5 miles we will get onto the Confluence Trail to make our way north to Alton and Grafton, where we can catch a ferry (is there just one?) over to Missouri and finally to St. Charles and the Katy Trailhead.
How does that look?
09-18-05, 08:46 PM
That route would be fine, but you can shorten it a bit: if you just come west out of Edwardsville on Poag road, you'll be fine, and won't have to take that jog south on Wanda. Poag runs straight to the COnfluence trail at the Lewis and Clark museum. Either route will be fine. ALso, the Nature trail to the Bluff Trail will get you to Poag road too. That one takes you through the campus and is a really nice shady trail.
There are two ferrys- one at Brussels, one at Grafton. If you take the brussels ferry, it'll put you in Calhoun county, between the rivers. Beautiful, hilly ride to the Golden Eagle ferry. The GOlden Eagle ferry will put you into Mo near St. Charles, on rt. B. If you're looking for some hills (nothing really big, just lots of small steep ones), you can do the Brussels to Golden Eagle ferry route, if you want flat, stick with the Grafton Ferry. You'll come the Grafton Ferry first, the Brussels Ferry is a few miles further up the trial towards Pere Marquette park.
When are you going? We ride that area quite frequently- might join up with you for the Illinois side of it.
BTW, when you get to St. Charles, if you're in the mood for a cold one, the Trailhead microbrewery has some mighty fine Missouri Brown, and the fried portabella appetizers are great!
09-18-05, 09:56 PM
We're considering leaving from Yorktown around May 17th of next year. We have some challenges here at home that may delay our trip another year...we hope not, but the reality is it might. If we do leave on or around that time we will hit Scott AFB on or around 13 June, we plan to take the following day off, then ride to St. Charles.
After posting our last reply, I took a closer look at the New Poag road that you speak of and was wondering if it were a good one...thanks for confirming that, it will take some miles off of that day.
The Micro brewery sounds like a winner. Do they serve food? We'll have a 7 year old with us.
09-19-05, 04:15 AM
Yes, the Trailhead is a full service restaraunt. St. Charles (the part you will be in) is an historic district- tons of shops, restaraunts, a winery or two, ice cream shop, horse drawn carriage rides, etc. You could easily spend an afternoon there. If the wives are along, they could make a day of it I'm sure. Also lots of bed and breadfast inns, and a casino (two) nearby.
Be sure to post when you leave and if you need any more info.
Some Katy trail links that might come in handy:
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