Oh boy, my first post, and I'm excited to be here! I've been hooked on bike commuting and travel for a couple weeks now and am heading full speed into the world of hybrids and touring!
Anyways, have a question for anyone who has biked down the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail up by Starved Rock State Park in Northern Illinois. I'm interested in taking my wife and kid (16 month old) down the trail and spend the weekend camping up there. Can anyone suggest a good camp site with close & safe access to the trail near the Park? I've been looking at satellite pictures trying to determine the best way to get from the camp sites up to the trail.
Anyone with experience in the area; I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!
I did the I&M from Morris to its western end, then on to the Hennepin canal trail last October. My first night was at Illini State Park in Marseilles. Depending on what direction you're going, it may be a good place to stay. I wouldn't say it's the most scenic state park I've ever been in (not bad for Northern Illinois Standards), but it was more than adequate (including having clean restrooms, a shower and a food stand).
There are also a few (3, I think) camp sites immediately off the canal right by Starved Rock. I'm not sure what is involved in reserving them, but if you're carrying food (and possibly water... not sure I'd want to take it from the river) they'd suit you fine.
If you make it over to the Hennepin, there is plenty of camping along that path. Towns for food and water, though, are a lot more sparse. Nice, easy trails to ride, though.