U.S. Bicycle Route System > Corridor Plan Updates & Routing Within Corridors

New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??

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schaser1:
This is a e-mail from Ben Bowman, traveled through the area in late October.  He gave a critque of the route.  I found this vey favorable.  Please read:




Kevin,

Sorry for the delay! I've been meaning to write you, but kept getting distracted.

As it turned out, my plan was a little ambitious, especially for the hilly first day in Indiana. I ended up taking four days, along this route.

I thought 161 was great for cycling. I found it a little hillier than expected, but much better than Indiana, and with much less traffic than 50.

I know there had been some question about how safe it would be to take the state highway 64 bridge into Mt. Carmel, and I agree that for beginner cyclists this would probably be a bad route to take. I didn't have any trouble with it though (around rush hour, even), and I think that anyone doing a bike tour would be experienced enough to feel comfortable crossing at this point.

You asked about what could be done to make cycling in/through this part of Illinois more attractive for cyclists. I would recommend putting together a map that could be used by local and through cyclists. A number of counties in southern Indiana produced "The Bike Route", which I found enormously helpful when plotting my route.

Although I didn't end up camping there, Sam Dale lake seems like a convenient place for cyclists to stop. It would be encouraging if there were one or two other published, convenient places for cyclists to pitch a tent. Oftentimes, cyclists don't need very much at all - just a place to sleep. If any town/city parks or church yards would be open to letting cyclists do this, it would be helpful to identify them on the map.

Another way of making the area more inviting to cyclists would be to encourage local cyclists & others to join Warm Showers, a cyclist hospitality website.

Finally, to really make things encouraging, you could partner with folks in Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky to publish a suggested route all the way from St. Louis to Louisville and/or Cincinnati. Maybe it could even go further west to the Katy Trail and/or Kansas City! A trail of this length would definitely get people's attention.

Hope that helps! I'd love to hear if anything comes of it.

peace,
ben

omayer:
Note this is an old thread...

I took approximately this route about a month ago. The way across IL along 161 plus extension is nice. Though I ran into some dogs along the county roads in eastern Il. There is a primitive only camp ground in Mt. Carmel, Beall Woods, that was beautiful and would recommend. Crossing into Indiana on IN-64 was very easy, even in rush hour. There is a 10 ft. shoulder on both sides of the bridge. The ride along Indiana 64 was very stressful due to HEAVY truck traffic and little to no shoulder, particularly between Princeton and Huntingburg. If you decide to ride this reflective gear is a must. Another forum suggests taking state highway 65 to 68/62... no idea if this is any better but might be worth a shot.


NE2:

--- Quote from: schaser1 on April 20, 2009, 06:05:22 pm ---Another option for the St. Louis to Louisville Route could be to go south from Mt. Carmel on Illinois 1 to Crossville, Illinois .  At Crossville, take Illinois 14 to Historic New Harmony, Indiana, then head east toward Evansville and Louisville.  This would allow a crossing into Indiana.  This a toll bridge but leads into a very scenic and historical area.
Illinois 14 is not traveled because most of the traffic stays on Interstate 64.  Again this might be another option.

--- End quote ---
This bridge has since been closed to all traffic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Harmony_Toll_Bridge
Nearest alternates are:
*Wabash Memorial Bridge to the south - which is electronic toll collection only, and it's not clear how cyclists are supposed to pay: http://www.in.gov/indot/2708.htm
*I-64 to the north - no bikes
*Mt. Carmel - new bridge opened 2011 with wide shoulders, as omayer describes above
There's also a weird one-lane wooden toll bridge at St. Francisville. Might be fun but not a way to route unsuspecting cyclists: http://www.spokesrider.com/2010/10/24/wabash-cannonball-bridge/

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