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Best places to ride within 3 hours of Chicago

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Best places to ride within 3 hours of Chicago

Old 07-27-20, 12:35 PM
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samkl 
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Best places to ride within 3 hours of Chicago

I live in Chicago and am a little sick of all the usual routes from my apartment. So I'm thinking of planning a few day trips out in the "country" to see new, interesting, and pretty places. Already acquainted with the Driftless Region, and I've done a few spectacular, challenging brevets around the Mt. Horeb/Mineral Point/Monroe area.

Safe, quiet roads, interesting topography, and natural beauty are the top priorities.

Suggestions on places within a few hours' drive of Chicago that are really great for riding?

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Old 07-28-20, 07:57 AM
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You should be able to find a decent route through NW Indiana to Michigan. Much of it will be in the Indiana Dunes National Park/Lakeshore. Once in Michigan, it's pretty easy to get around on the country roads.
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Old 07-29-20, 08:22 AM
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A bit more investigation now that I'm in front of a real computer... Here's a Google Maps snapshot showing a couple significant bike routes in NW Indiana (dedicated bike trails I believe). The route through Griffith and New Elliott disappearing off the bottom of the map ends in Crown Point. The jump from around the Skyway to that route is pretty easy as I recall. The Ross-Hobart-Portage-Chesterton route gets you close to Indiana Dunes. I don't recall the hop over to the dunes to be challenging. Of course, you can just putter around Wolf Lake, which was what I was originally searching for, hence the red pin.

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Old 07-29-20, 08:36 PM
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Thanks Skip. Itís always good to see some routes that arenít Sheridan Road. Wolf Lake is pretty, but I havenít ridden much elsewhere in Indiana.
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Old 08-17-20, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by samkl View Post
I live in Chicago and am a little sick of all the usual routes from my apartment. So I'm thinking of planning a few day trips out in the "country" to see new, interesting, and pretty places. Already acquainted with the Driftless Region, and I've done a few spectacular, challenging brevets around the Mt. Horeb/Mineral Point/Monroe area.

Safe, quiet roads, interesting topography, and natural beauty are the top priorities.

Suggestions on places within a few hours' drive of Chicago that are really great for riding?
This suburban route might be obvious but it might tide you over. Wrap up in your HAZMAT suit of choice and take the Rock Island train to either Oak Forest or Joliet and you can loop around.
This route is mainly managed trails. Mostly asphalt with some limestone chip trail from Joliet to Lemont.

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Old 08-17-20, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by judeen_buck View Post
This suburban route might be obvious but it might tide you over. Wrap up in your HAZMAT suit of choice and take the Rock Island train to either Oak Forest or Joliet and you can loop around.
This route is mainly managed trails. Mostly asphalt with some limestone chip trail from Joliet to Lemont.

Thanks! Not obvious at all. I live on the North Side and pretty much only go north or northwest. I've spent way less time going south or southwest. Will check this out!
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Old 09-01-20, 09:22 AM
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I'm kind of late to this party, but South Haven, MI is less than 3hrs from Chicago..
Kal-Haven Trail runs from there to Kalamazoo, 34 miles gravel..
where it meets the Kalamazoo River Valley trail.. 35 miles blacktop
and the Van Buren Trail, 14 miles blacktop between South Haven and Hartford. I think Four Winds has a satellite casino there.

The stretch between South Haven and Kalamazoo is kinda sparse in attractions, but the rest of it has all kinds of berry farms, vineyards and orchards, shops, brewpubs, Collegiate league summer baseball team in Kalamazoo (one of the hottest tickets in town) you get the idea.

https://www.michigan.org/property/va...ail-state-park

https://www.michigan.org/property/ka...ail-state-park

https://www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt/

oh.. and this has received some accolades.. not to far off the KRVT out in Kalamazoo Township..
https://www.swmmba.com/maple-hill-trail/

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Old 09-04-20, 05:45 PM
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Google Kane County Bike Maps. Lots out here, from the Fox River Trails, to a lot more connected routes/ Only an hour away. Drive it or take the train to Aurora, and it starts right across the street from the station.
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Old 09-20-20, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
. Drive it or take the train to Aurora, and it starts right across the street from the station.
now THAT'S handy.
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Old 09-20-20, 06:57 AM
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This is just across the State line in Three Oaks, MI (I-94 Exit 12)
Ride is cancelled for this year (go figure) but you can sign up for the 2021 ride..
nice time of year, quiet back roads, ride a shorter route as a family, or you and some buddies can kit up and ride the hundo..
after party at a pretty darn nice brewpub.

https://www.applecidercentury.com/

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