Author Topic: Madison WI to Northern IN  (Read 1133 times)

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Offline bbarrettx

Madison WI to Northern IN
« on: April 06, 2018, 11:16:46 am »
We're planning on leaving Madison. WI in late May to complete a XC tour we started last summer. We're headed to coastal NJ and the plan was to ride up through the UP of Michigan and continue to Niagara Falls using AC routes and head SE from there. We encountered some pretty crazy winds in the upper midwest and great plains while crossing in late June last year which made any northbound riding a 5 mph proposition so we continued east riding 25 mph tailwinds and ended up in Madison instead of Minneapolis. We're hoping that these winds wont be around in late May but it's not unrealistic that we'll encounter really bad conditions that time of year so I'm trying to work on a contingency plan which would take the southerly route through IL, IN, OH, and PA. I have a decent idea for routing from northern Indiana to NJ but I'm looking for guidance from Madison to northern Indiana. The town that we're shooting for is Syracuse, IN which is 30-40 miles SE of South Bend. I'm assuming that it makes sense to stay pretty far west of Chicago but perhaps there are decent biking corridors through the close in western suburbs. Any guidance you have on this route would be much appreciated.

Just a note that we don't plan on using the AC route from Chicago to NYC as it winds too far south for us.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 11:37:34 am »
If you will do "chat" (gravel screenings), then I would probably head east on the bike paths from Madison to Milwaukee then south to Chicago again mostly on paved bike paths. From Chicago, use the Chicagoto NYC route and beak off that route around North Judson and take back roads over to Syracuse.

Chat is really not bad at all. Plus being on a rail trail, you will most likely be protected from the wind as trees typically create a "tunnel" to ride through on the trail.

Whatever you choose, hope you have an enjoyable tour! Best, John

Offline barturtle

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 09:45:49 pm »
You can follow bike paths and bike lanes almost all the way from Milwaukee, Wi to Michigan City, In. The paths along the lakefront through Chicago are nice, busy, but nice.

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Offline John Nettles

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 02:34:03 am »
I guess another option is to head to Milwaukee and take the ferry over to Muskegon then south on the North Lakes route and break off somewhere to Syracuse.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 04:18:27 pm »
Where in NJ are you going? I have crossed PA three times. I have detailed files.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 04:22:36 pm by BikeliciousBabe »

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 12:33:27 pm »
We're headed to Sea Bright, NJ which is the north end of the shore in central NJ. I'm open to any suggestions regarding PA. My guess at this point is that we'd stay north of Pittsburgh and probably go through State College and Lewisburg and then head towards the Lehigh Valley before entering NJ a bit north of Princeton. Thanks for any info you have!

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 01:57:01 pm »
What makes the most sense depends on where you will be coming through OH. I will send you a PM.

Offline canalligators

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 07:58:11 am »
I’ve ridden the lakeshore through Chicago and the Fox River Trail to the west.  Both have their attractions.  On our second trip, we rode Madison-Palmyra-Lake Geneva-Fox River trails, then ~81st St. to the lakeshore, then east to Laporte In.  Not a bad route.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 02:53:51 pm »
I’ve ridden the lakeshore through Chicago and the Fox River Trail to the west.  Both have their attractions.  On our second trip, we rode Madison-Palmyra-Lake Geneva-Fox River trails, then ~81st St. to the lakeshore, then east to Laporte In.  Not a bad route.

The one using Fox River Trail looks like a good option. Since we don't have a need to visit Chicago do you think it might make sense to continue SE From Oswego To Joliet and continue east towards IN from there? I'm guessing 81st might be more urban riding or is there an eastbound trail in that vicinity?

Offline ggwbikemt

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 02:28:05 am »
If you choose to travel SE from Oswego to Joliet, you can pick up the Old Plank Road Trail which starts on the east east side of Joliet and travels through several far south suburbs to Chicago Heights. https://www.traillink.com/trail/old-plank-road-trail/

The trail is paved and well maintained.

A paper map for traveling through the Chicago area I would recommend is The Chicagoland Bike Map which can be purchased for $8.00 from https://activetransreg.org/shop

Offline canalligators

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 06:39:44 am »
81st is urban but a decent route. We went that way because we’d stayed with a warmshowers host and were headed downtown to Union Station. The trail option is probably better for you.  I also recommend that map.

Offline bbarrettx

Re: Madison WI to Northern IN
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 09:53:19 am »
Thanks for all of your help here. It's much appreciated. Old Plank Road Trail looks like a good option in combo with the other trails to the north. I will grab the Chicagoland map as well.