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  1. #1
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    Chicago: best way to connect Lake Shore Path & North Branch Trail?

    Looking for the most bike friendly way to connect the north end of the Lake Shore Trail to the Southern end of the North Branch Trail.

    Tried taking Ardmore west off the Lake Shore Trail, North on Kenmore, and West on Devon. Devon was not bike friendly.

    Would it be easiest to just catch the Devon bus and strap on my bike?

    A route that works both ways would be ideal.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Looks like the Devon bus doesn't run the entire length of Devon. Wouldn't even get me close enough.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ilmooz's Avatar
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    There are a lot of options but none that I can think of that are particularly friendly. You might try Foster Ave. five miles west to Elston Ave. where there's a bike lane, north to Milwaukee, then Milwaukee to Devon where you can pick up the trail there.

  4. #4
    that bike nut BikingGrad80's Avatar
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    I usually take Wilson west from the lakeshore path. Then somewhere west of Western ave go north to Bryn Mawr, maybe Francisco. Past Pulaski on Bryn Mawr there is a series of side streets with signs that direct you towards the North Branch trail. I believe it's Kercheval to Forest Glen to Lansing to Leader to Leoti to Spokane to Devon west a half a mile to the start of the North Branch Trail. Keep in mind the North Branch was being resurfaced the last time I tried it. Not sure if it's done.

  5. #5
    El Duké Degreaser El Duke's Avatar
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    Two weeks ago the NBT was unpaved in many spots between Touhy and Oakton. Fun on a 'cross bike or something with fatter tires, not fun on a track bike.

    Devon is death west of McCormick. I've taken it twice and it totally stinks. I agree with BikingGrad80, take Wilson west (you'll have to cut off of the Lakefront path earlier than where it ends north of Hollywood). Then ride through some of the neighborhood streets(Wilson, left on Pulaski to back onto Wilson, left on Kassan to right onto Kennicott) then right to Elston and take it northwest to Central. Go north on Central to the intersection of Caldwell, Lehigh and Devon (or in the general vicinity) where the NBT starts.

  6. #6
    Member pkgman's Avatar
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    After trying many routes that would get me killed I've settled on this one....
    Argyle (underpass from the bike trail south of Foster) west to Broadway, jog north 1/2 block to Winnemac, west on Winnemac (watch out for slight jogs) to California, north one block to Carmen, Carmen west through East River Park to the bike path along the river, north on the path to the second overpass Bryn Mawr, west on Bry Mawr till you can't go any further, then pick up the signs to the North Branch Trail. This is the safest route I've found so far.
    Gary

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    Junior Member jhcore's Avatar
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    I've been lurking about for a while, but registered a while ago. Anyway, I think I have a pretty good way to connect the Lakefront Trail to the North Branch Trail.

    I take Granville west to Kedzie, then head north on Kedzie until Devon. On Devon, I get on the scant bit of sidewalk(heading west again) until McCormick, then head north on that circuitous sidewalk/path until Pratt. Pratt is pretty busy, but more than wide enough to ride on it and feel comfortable. You can go West all the way on it until Central, then just head South on Central until Devon. At Devon, go west again, and you're practically there!

    From my place in Edgewater, it's only about 7 miles to the entrance of the NBT, and generally takes me 20-30 minutes to get there. Hope this helps!

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    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    The Peterson Bus runs from the lake (@ Bryn Mawr) to about 100 yards form the start of the trail. It probably takes close to 30 minutes for the distance, but if you don't like riding in traffic, that's the way to go.

    What I have done before is follow Bryn Mawr (note that it doesn't run all the way between Damen and Western, but otherwise it is a near straight shot. It's a bike route with some bike lanes and shared lanes. All the way to the NBT it is marked with the green signs along the street. (Note: rereading the previous posts, this is a lot like what Gary mentioned before)

    You can get to Bryn Mawr by following Berwyn from near the lake (look up Google how to get there). Berwyn is a one-way, low traffic street, which you can take all the way to River Park and then just head north to Bryn Mawr. It makes for very nice riding.

    I've said it before, but do look up a Chicago bike map. Most LBS have free copies of it. It does work! Routes highlighted here generally are bikefriendly. It's the first place I go to for advice when I need a new route. If you can't make it to a LBS look up the online version here: http://www.cityofchicago.org/Transpo...ap/keymap.html
    Happy riding,
    Duppie

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    Rick
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    I agree with jhcore

    I appreciate everyone's answers on this topic. I personally haven't tried getting to this trail yet from the Lake Front path, but as a native Chicagoan, this looks like the best bet to me in terms of traffic. I live on the south side, and my ride up to Hollywood and back along the Lake gives me about 33 miles.

    Sometimes I'll go up to the NW campus and beyond when I have more time on a weekend, and I'm amazed at how bike 'unfriendly' most streets going north are within a few miles west of the Lake. I am definitely going to check out this route to the NBT.

    Thanks, guys! This has been a very informative thread for me.

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    Rick
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    Sorry.. i didn't make my reply clear: jh core's suggested route looks best to me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rsd212's Avatar
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    Don't mean to hijack, but whats going on at the north end of the lakeshore trail? Never actually ridden it, tried the other day but came up on a "detour" that just dumped me back out on the streets. Anybody know where the construction starts/ends? Is there an easy way to get around it?

    Btw, from Loyola on up past Northwestern campus I don't find Sheridan to be that bad. Traffic on there is used to bikes, and though it can be a little bumpy at times its really not bad. Once up past Northwestern there seems to be a few more options for getting West, the roads open up a little more.

  12. #12
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsd212 View Post
    whats going on at the north end of the lakeshore trail? Is there an easy way to get around it?

    Btw, from Loyola on up past Northwestern campus I don't find Sheridan to be that bad. Traffic on there is used to bikes, and though it can be a little bumpy at times its really not bad. Once up past Northwestern there seems to be a few more options for getting West, the roads open up a little more.
    The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation keeps un up to date page in the conditions on the lakefront path:
    http://www.biketraffic.org/content.php?id=57_0_6_0

    And yes, Once you get to Lawrence, there is an 'official' detour. It take you under LSD and north from there. I prefer to take a right and ride on the (mostly) low-traffic road thru the park.
    Duppie

  13. #13
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rektrader View Post
    I personally haven't tried getting to this trail yet from the Lake Front path, but as a native Chicagoan, this looks like the best bet to me in terms of traffic.
    You have never ridden this route, but yet you know that this is the best route, better than the other examples? Got it

    Duppie

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    Rick
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    The detour takes you west of LSD for just a few blocks between Foster and Lawrence. You just follow the signs, and the brief ride through the park on the west side of LSD is nice It's pretty easy; you just follow the signs, but you are of course significantly slowed down.

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    You can take Granville west all of the way to Kedzie. It runs parallel to Devon and should do the trick.

  16. #16
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiva View Post
    You can take Granville west all of the way to Kedzie. It runs parallel to Devon and should do the trick.
    That's how I've done it before in the past. Works alright, but can be slow-going sometimes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhcore View Post
    I've been lurking about for a while, but registered a while ago. Anyway, I think I have a pretty good way to connect the Lakefront Trail to the North Branch Trail.

    I take Granville west to Kedzie, then head north on Kedzie until Devon. On Devon, I get on the scant bit of sidewalk(heading west again) until McCormick, then head north on that circuitous sidewalk/path until Pratt. Pratt is pretty busy, but more than wide enough to ride on it and feel comfortable. You can go West all the way on it until Central, then just head South on Central until Devon. At Devon, go west again, and you're practically there!

    From my place in Edgewater, it's only about 7 miles to the entrance of the NBT, and generally takes me 20-30 minutes to get there. Hope this helps!
    I grew up just off Granville, using it and Devon (and Peterson, really!) as E-W arteries. Granville was narrow back in the day, and is just busier now! Devon with all the shopping is much busier, but wide enough to negotiate your way. Or, what's changed so much?

    Road Fan, formerly of Damen and Granville

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