Author Topic: Western Chicago Burbs to Columbia, Missouri  (Read 2019 times)

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Offline 50missioncap

Western Chicago Burbs to Columbia, Missouri
« on: May 01, 2012, 09:52:35 am »
Hey all,

I'm sort of new at this - I've biked around Chicago and have done the Katy Trail several times.  I'd like to ride from my house in the Chicago burbs - Glendale Heights (right on the Great Western Trail) to my inlaws place in Columbia, Missouri.  I'd imagine that I'd take the great river trail to the katy, but my question is how would I get from my house in Glendale Heights to the big river?  Has anyone done this?  How would I go about finding a route?  I don't have the best luck with Google bike maps.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.   

Offline Ronn

Re: Western Chicago Burbs to Columbia, Missouri
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 04:13:27 pm »
 :)Try posting on u might get some answers. Good Luck.

Offline OldZephyr

Re: Western Chicago Burbs to Columbia, Missouri
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 11:25:18 am »
Have you checked out the Illinois Bicycling Maps?  The IDOT website has them in downloadable form, or you can get them for free from IDOT.

I wouldn't rely on Google Maps.  Use the Illinois Bicycling Maps instead.

Illinois is a great state to cycle in.  There are tons of lightly traveled roads with decent surfaces.  Here's a journal (8 pages) of a trip I took with my son in downstate Illinois earlier this year from Carlinville to Princeton (the link here is to the table of contents):

I'd suggest going WSW from your home, maybe cutting south in the Princeton or Kewanee area.  You could use parts of our route from Princeton to Carlinville, and then cross the Mississippi River at Alton.  There is an entry on Crazyguyonabike that gives the way from Alton to the Katy Trail's beginning at Machens, MO.  Then you take the Katy Trail to Columbia.

Here is the link to the Alton to Machens route:

As you can see from my journal, the crossing of the Illinois River in Peoria wasn't bad at all, and the Peoria metro area was pretty easy to get through because there are quiet streets and rail trails for much of the way.  Here is the page which has a detailed map of the route through Peoria (scroll down toward the bottom of the page), you can enlarge the detail:

Almost all of the roads we traveled on were great bicycling roads.  The road from Illinois 104 to New Berlin, IL had heavier traffic than most, but we stuck on it because we had a great tailwind and a good surface and were just clipping along.  There are paralleling roads that would be lighter traffic.  And of course there is more traffic south of Peoria and in Peoria, but again, there was a good shoulder for the most part on the more heavy roads.  If you have specific questions about specific roads, let me know.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 11:29:42 am by OldZephyr »

Offline OldZephyr

Re: Western Chicago Burbs to Columbia, Missouri
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 11:44:37 am »
And here is a journal of a person who rode a single speed coaster brake bike all the way from Morton IL to Springfield, MO crossing the river in Alton and using the Katy Trail (he went on the Machens -- St. Charles segment before it was completed).  Again, maybe some useful route information:

An alternative crossing of the Mississippi would be at the Golden Eagle ferry at the tip of Calhoun County, and riding from the ferry landing to St. Charles to pick up the Katy Trail there.  I've done that -- traffic immediately around St. Charles was a bit heavy in a few places, but manageable.  Bicycling in Calhoun County, especially on the west side of the County, is fantastic.