Gravel in Chicagoland?

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by MarathonMan, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. MarathonMan

    MarathonMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Chicago NW Suburbs
    Are there any gravel roads in Chicagoland?

    I know Fist and others just rode the Cheese County Trail (http://wicip.uwplatt.edu/green/ci/monroe/outdoors/cc_trail.htm) in SW Wisconsin, but that's 2+ hours from where I live in the NW burbs.

    McD mentioned that he saw some gravel SW of Joliet. McD - if you see this, where exactly did you see gravel? Are you talking about the old strip mines near Wilmington?

    Anyplace else? :ear

    Thanks,
    marathonman
    #1
  2. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540
    There are alot of straight gravel roads all over Illinois. Get off the main roads and start riding the farm roads 30% are gravel. You can probably ride upwards of 50-60% gravel with a little experience and planning. Grab yourself a Gazateer. :thumb
    #2
  3. McD

    McD Nothing

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,633
    :nod sw of joliet there are a lot of these straight gravel roads that run between cornfields. To get the good curvy gravel and dirt, you need to travel a little further.... to the Illinois river.
    #3
  4. troll

    troll zx6e.net

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Only a few years ago, much just on the other side of Naperville/bolingbrook, was gravel. But all has been paved over it seems. Just like my backyard was a cornfield growing up, but is now what is know as "Danada". Bah. Condos, houses, shopping. Hmmph.

    Troll
    #4
  5. motojoe

    motojoe Arrest Cheney and Bush

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,416
    Location:
    Chaingolian Dynasty
    development is not progress to me.
    #5
  6. MarathonMan

    MarathonMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Chicago NW Suburbs
    Taki -
    Can you tell from the Gazateer if a road is gravel, or do you just have to go there? Appreciate the help.
    marathonman
    #6
  7. chain

    chain Go Fly Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,831
    Location:
    Central IL



    Nothing worse than seeing a perfectly good road get paved :bluduh
    #7
  8. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,817
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Take a ride up to McHenry/Boone County - - Capron, Chemung, Harvard, Sharon (WI) over towards Belvidere Airport. Stateline Road's darn near gravel it has so many potholes :nod

    -- plenty of gravel -- mostly straight.

    Lots of nice farm roads.
    #8
  9. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,817
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    ...or take a ride up to Bong AFB in Kenosha county.

    Here's some info from their website:

    Richard Bong State Recreation Area is 8 miles southeast of Burlington, Wisconsin, on State Highway 142. The entrance is a little less than a mile west of State Highway 75.

    The recreation area is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Office hours vary with the season; see our current conditions page.

    www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/bong/

    Richard Bong State Recreation Area
    26313 Burlington Rd.
    Kansasville WI 53139
    (262) 878-5600
    (262) 878-5615 Fax
    #9
  10. chain

    chain Go Fly Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,831
    Location:
    Central IL
    Follow the Illinois River South of Princeton
    further south = better roads

    just get up a little earlier and go to bed a little later its worth the effort.
    #10
  11. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540
    Sometimes. Dashed lines usually indicate gravel, but are used to mark old rail grades and such. Also, each state is a little different. Illinois has alot of straight gravel farm roads, Wisconsin seems to pave most of their roads so you have to look for da gravel. Michigan has a ton of trails and I mean a ton! Beware on larger bikes, some trails, not all, may include sand. It is possible to ride hundreds of miles on trails alone in Michigan. As for Illinois, listen to the Chain man :ear my limited experience with his routes leads me to believe he has found the "TAO of GRAVEL". Ride out towards Byron Illinois on a weekend using county roads only keep your eyes open and you will find plenty of gravel. Stop at the motorcross track for a break. Mabey we'll hook up for a ride some Sunday am. Good luck!
    #11
  12. MarathonMan

    MarathonMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Chicago NW Suburbs
    Taki -

    I rode a bunch of gravel roads this past Sunday near Byron. I went directly west from the northwest burbs on Rt 72, and then branched off from there. Got chased by some hound dogs - reminded me of getting chased by hounds on my road bike (bicycle) around Macomb in the late 70's. It's a little easier to get away when you have an internal combustion engine connected to your right hand. :D The nuclear power plant cooling towers provide a nice point of reference so you know where you're at. Out west they have mountains to serve as reference points - us flatlanders have to make do.

    I would be up for a Sunday AM ride anytime. The earlier the better for me. I will probably head out again this Sunday AM in search of gravel if you, or anybody, is interested.

    Ride safe :thumb
    marathonman
    #12
  13. chain

    chain Go Fly Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,831
    Location:
    Central IL
    Look at page 15 and 16 in your Gazateer

    :evil
    #13
  14. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540
    Sounds good. Let me clear the time before I commit.

    I will leave as early as you can stand!
    #14
  15. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540
    Common Chain! "Tao of Gravel" did'nt solicit a chuckle? :lol3
    #15
  16. trailuser

    trailuser take the backroads

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Illinois
    I live near Marseilles and I ride gravel all the time. I sometimes ride all the way to Iowa on gravel and tar "n" chip roads, just run pararell with I-80.

    In general when you get west of Joliet/Shorewood there's plenty of gravel. The same for the Aurora area, of course you m ay have to jog north & south a bit more on these roads.
    #16
  17. Buzzez

    Buzzez Wind Powered

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,520
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri USA Planet Earth
    I feel for you guys.
    #17
  18. chain

    chain Go Fly Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,831
    Location:
    Central IL
    :lol3
    sorry, thought it was some sort of japanese desert :lol3
    #18
  19. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540

    I got the chuckle :lol3
    #19
  20. Taki

    Taki Waiting for Godot

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,017
    Location:
    60540
    Chain, do you know anything about the old railroad grade that runs from Byron all the way to Galena? :ear
    #20