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Old 08-31-06, 08:07 AM   #1
Recycle
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Surface on McHenry County (IL) Prairie Trail

Can anyone tell me what kind of surface is on the northern half of the McHenry County (IL) Prairie Trail?

I'm planning a ride this weekend that includes 20 miles on that trail and found conflicting reports about the surface on the northern 10 or 12 miles.

One web site reports it as railroad ballast; another as crushed limestone on railroad ballast. I don't mind riding on crushed limestone or normal gravel, but if it's that fist sized railroad ballast, I'll use local roads around that section.

TIA
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Old 08-31-06, 08:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Recycle
Can anyone tell me what kind of surface is on the northern half of the McHenry County (IL) Prairie Trail?

I'm planning a ride this weekend that includes 20 miles on that trail and found conflicting reports about the surface on the northern 10 or 12 miles.

One web site reports it as railroad ballast; another as crushed limestone on railroad ballast. I don't mind riding on crushed limestone or normal gravel, but if it's that fist sized railroad ballast, I'll use local roads around that section.

TIA
Is that the trail parallel to Il 173 from Roscoe to Capron?
If yes, that trail is paved from Capron past Caledonia going West. It is lime stone (not too bad) from there to Roscoe. I use 700 x 38 tires on that trail and do it often. That trail is NOT loose gravel or fist size railroad ballast. I go on it at speeds of 17 MPH++.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by will dehne
Is that the trail parallel to Il 173 from Roscoe to Capron?
If yes, that trail is paved from Capron past Caledonia going West. It is lime stone (not too bad) from there to Roscoe. I use 700 x 38 tires on that trail and do it often. That trail is NOT loose gravel or fist size railroad ballast. I go on it at speeds of 17 MPH++.
Hi, Will

Thanks for the info on the trail from Capron to Roscoe. My wife and I will be riding that one in a couple of weeks.

The trail we're looking at for this weekend is about 20 miles east of there. It runs N-S and is the northern extension of the Fox River Trail from Algonquin, thru McHenry and Richmond, and then into Genoa City WI. There is a good road route around it, but I'ld rather ride the trail if it's not a bike wrecker.

I just found a McHenry County Visitor's Bureau thru Google ... maybe they can tell something about it.

L
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Old 08-31-06, 05:25 PM   #4
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Hi, Will

Thanks for the info on the trail from Capron to Roscoe. My wife and I will be riding that one in a couple of weeks.

The trail we're looking at for this weekend is about 20 miles east of there. It runs N-S and is the northern extension of the Fox River Trail from Algonquin, thru McHenry and Richmond, and then into Genoa City WI. There is a good road route around it, but I'ld rather ride the trail if it's not a bike wrecker.

I just found a McHenry County Visitor's Bureau thru Google ... maybe they can tell something about it.

L
Sorry, I do not know that one.
BTW, I go all the time on Wisconsin Rail to Trails. There is a nice one from Broadhead to New Glarus with fine Dining in New Glarus. It is called Sugar River Trail.
The best one is from Reedsburg, Wi to Elroy, to Sparta, to Onalaska, to Trempelau on the Mississipi.
That is 100 miles one way on trails. Fine Dining there also.
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Old 08-31-06, 06:55 PM   #5
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The trail from Ringwood Road North to Richmond is kinda rough with some loose stone and gravel. I rode it with 700-35 tires and it was just OK. If you are on a road bike I would take a road. McHenry County Bike Club has a lot of great rides in that area and north. Go to their website http://www.mchenrybicycleclub.org/ and click on maps and cue sheets. Have a good ride. John
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Old 09-01-06, 05:57 AM   #6
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Here is a map. Go left on Banard Mill to right on Keystone to Genoa City. Tolit at canoe basen. John
http://www.mchenrybicycleclub.org/MC...0Lakes%202.pdf
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Old 09-01-06, 09:41 AM   #7
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John,

Thank you for the map and the lead to the McHenry Bicycle Club. It looks like a large and very active group. Do you ride with them?

We'll be on hybrids. My bike has 700 x 40 tires and my wife's has 26 x 1.75, so we should be ok on gravel. And it looks like there's a couple of crossroads to bailout if it gets too rough. It was the report of railroad ballast that had me concerned. I won't ride on that stuff.

This is a 30 mile trip from Richmond to Wauconda with a stops to smell the flowers in the 3 parks along the way.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by will dehne
BTW, I go all the time on Wisconsin Rail to Trails. There is a nice one from Broadhead to New Glarus with fine Dining in New Glarus. It is called Sugar River Trail.
The best one is from Reedsburg, Wi to Elroy, to Sparta, to Onalaska, to Trempelau on the Mississipi.
That is 100 miles one way on trails. Fine Dining there also.
Will,

Those are some trails we would love to ride! In fact, we've been talking about week end touring on some of them next year.

I heard somewhere that there is a service along the Elroy-Sparta trail where you can park your car at one spot, bicycle out for a couple days, and then get a van ride for you and the bike back to the car. Did you ever take advantage of that sort of service?
L
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Old 09-01-06, 11:06 AM   #9
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Another great trail is the Jane Adams in Freeport. I rode it on Monday and you can go 12.8 miles in Illinois, then another 4 into Wisconsin. The Wisconsin trail (Badger State trail) is brand new gravel and they are in the process of laying it all the way to Madison. The are suppose to lay the gravel this year and blacktop it next year.
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Old 09-01-06, 12:20 PM   #10
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Thank you for the map and the lead to the McHenry Bicycle Club. It looks like a large and very active group. Do you ride with them?

I ride with them about 3-4 times a week. Usually 12-25 riders. Tues and Wed. of this week we rode from Havard to Janesvile Wi. Next week 15 riders are riding around the top of Lake Michigan for 6 days and then taking the ferry back across lake to Wi. 60-75 mile days. Most of us are retired and over 60 but we ride like 50 year olds. Just a wonderfull bunch of people. Everybody is invited on our rides. John
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Old 09-01-06, 06:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RDW3261
Another great trail is the Jane Adams in Freeport. I rode it on Monday and you can go 12.8 miles in Illinois, then another 4 into Wisconsin. The Wisconsin trail (Badger State trail) is brand new gravel and they are in the process of laying it all the way to Madison. The are suppose to lay the gravel this year and blacktop it next year.
Thanks for the lead. We'll be on an IL section of the Jane Adams Trail later in Sept as part of our Grand Illinois Trail circuit. ( http://www.bikegit.org/git/index.htm ) Looking forward to some WI rides next year.
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Old 09-01-06, 07:18 PM   #12
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I ride with them about 3-4 times a week. Usually 12-25 riders. Tues and Wed. of this week we rode from Havard to Janesvile Wi. Next week 15 riders are riding around the top of Lake Michigan for 6 days and then taking the ferry back across lake to Wi. 60-75 mile days. Most of us are retired and over 60 but we ride like 50 year olds. Just a wonderfull bunch of people. Everybody is invited on our rides. John
That trip over the top of the Lake, returning by ferry sounds like another great ride.
Thanks again for the info on the Prairie Trail.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Recycle
Will,

Those are some trails we would love to ride! In fact, we've been talking about week end touring on some of them next year.

I heard somewhere that there is a service along the Elroy-Sparta trail where you can park your car at one spot, bicycle out for a couple days, and then get a van ride for you and the bike back to the car. Did you ever take advantage of that sort of service?
L
My wife and I are Tandem bikers. That means that we go 100 miles/day. So we never used that service. I have seen folks doing that however.
Another good lead for you: Use your Google and do "Root River Bike trails". It will get you to Lanesboro, Minnesota. They invested big bucks into this SE depressed area and created 150 miles of paved trails going any which way from Lanesboro. Good Restaurants, Motels, Washrooms with showers, Rafting, Fishing, Hunting. We do vacation there a few times each year. La Crosse, Wi. is near by. College town with lots of biking and restaurants and Mississippi.
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Old 09-11-06, 10:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by will dehne
Sorry, I do not know that one.
BTW, I go all the time on Wisconsin Rail to Trails. There is a nice one from Broadhead to New Glarus with fine Dining in New Glarus. It is called Sugar River Trail.
We stayed at the Earth Rider Hotel in Brodhead earlier this summer, and loved it! Nice hotel with a shower in the shop after you've got your exercise on the trail. The Germans in my motorcycle club really like New Glarus too, they say it's very authentic.
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