Author Topic: Chicago to north west AR  (Read 4335 times)

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Offline crawdadslim

Chicago to north west AR
« on: October 30, 2007, 10:15:43 pm »
planning a trip in early april, Chicago to  Arkansas
looking at heading over on the grand Illinios trail to the mississippi river trail, down to ST lois, then hook up with the Katy trail to Clinton MO, from there the Frisco trail(I think thats its name) goes close to Springfield Mo.  From Springfield I know all the roads to home, and some of them are horrible to bike on(no shoulders, blind turns, Branson Mo oriented traffic)but I will deal with it, though if anyone has any suggestions they would really be welcome.
home is in Eureka Springs AR.  any info, experiences on the trails,roads, I have chosen?  should I buy a car?   I have never planned this long a ride before, though I am fairly experienced within a few hundred miles of home.     thanks, jason

Offline ptaylor

Chicago to north west AR
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 04:02:53 pm »
Hi Jason.

Sounds like you are doing a good job of planning. I'm not familiar with any of the trails you mention, except the Katy. I'm wondering if you have looked into the National Bicycle Route Network.

You could cobble together portions of the Norther Tier, Great Rivers, and TransAm for a portion of your ride.

The thing I like about the National Network is that the ACA publishes such great maps.


Offline Nitram

Chicago to north west AR
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2007, 09:48:12 pm »
I'm familiar with the Mississippi River Trail either side of my home town.  Stay on the Illinois side and ride the flat river bottom from Nauvoo, IL to Hannibal, Missouri. Cross the rivver and take Hwy 79 on the Missouri Side to Clarksville, MO. This stretch is scenic and hilly.  From Clarksville I recommend that you jump off 79 and over to Route W to continue south to Hwy 47.  Heavy St. Louis Traffic can start here, just 60 miles north, so be carefull. The general path is to head east on 47 back to 79 then south, but I would attempt to find smaller roads parrallel since both Hwys have no shoulder and lots of traffic.  Similarly stay on the smaller bottom roads into the east side of St. Charles where you will catch the Katy.  The Katy lacks the scenery that Hwy 100 and 94 have.  Both run parallel.

I just finnished a self supported trip through western Arkansas finishing in Branson via Eureka Springs.  Beautiful riding.  We stayed of of Hwy 69 at Branson by going on the west side of the lake.

Offline crawdadslim

Chicago to north west AR
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 04:39:48 pm »
thanks for the advice, sounds good till st lois.  
I may just track around it by a hundred miles or so. last time I was there I rode to the train station in kirkwood from the bridge in five 5:00 traffic, not a very fun time to ride a fully loaded rig.

I hope you enjoyed eureka nitram, I average 150 miles a week here, so I hope that the hills you mention will not be a problem, though I think it may be time to get a triple.  thanks again.  jason