Note: Although this is a self-supported ride with no official SAG service, we do have at least one driver who will haul camping gear and luggage so lucky you won't have to transport any gear on your bike! You'll just have to get it to Logan Square by Fri. night 8/24. Thanks Clyde! If anyone else would like to drive out and camp/hike with us, you are welcome to join!
Final lodging costs will be based on number of people camping and how many staying in hotel rooms. Payment will be due 8/21 via PayPal or Venmo. Stay tuned for actual amounts due after registration closes 8/21. We have already reserved hotel rooms and campsites in advance (they book up months prior) so you don't need to do anything.
Estimates per person for both nights total are:
Camp site 2 nights: $30-$50 (Includes water, electric, bathrooms/showers. Alcohol not permitted.)
Hotel at Lodge 2 nights: $90-$180 (4 vs. 2 in a double queen bed room)
FYI to get your bearings...
-It’s 2.5 miles between campsite and Lodge hotel.
-You cannot walk from the campsites directly into Starved Rock Park to hike.
8/25 Sat. Ride to Starved Rock
Groups will meet in Joliet just a couple blocks NW of the Metra station at the Joliet Route 66 Diner, 22 W Clinton St. You can grab a coffee or a quick breakfast while we wait for the others and we will all depart around 10:15AM for the 60 mile trip to Starved Rock.
You can get to Joliet by:
1) riding your bike from home (plan your departure time accordingly), or
2) taking the 8:30AM Rock Island Metra
from LaSalle station direct to Joliet, arrives 10:00AM ($8.25 fare), or
3) taking the 7:10AM Metra Electric
from Millennium Station to Matteson, arrives 8:11AM ($7.25 fare) and then biking 20 miles on the paved Old Plank Road trail to Joliet.
We will have people doing all 3 options to get to Joliet meet point.
From Joliet, we will split into 2 groups, road and trail. Routes (subject to tweaks). Cue sheets will be available soon.
(recommend at least 1.25" or 32mm tire width for best handling on limestone trails)
Groups will rendezvous for lunch at Seneca Family Restaurant, 270 N. Main St., Seneca, IL.
We will arrive to Starved Rock 3-5PM and will check-in to hotel or set-up camp, grab a shower, etc.
For those interested, we will meet at 6PM for a ~6 mi. (each way) slow bike ride to dinner in Oglesby, IL at Mr. Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant, 309 E Walnut St. After dinner, if you have room, we’ll bike over to a drive-in rootbeer stand for a rootbeer float! Bring lights for bike for return trip. (Uber may be an option if your legs need a rest.)
8/26 Sun. Hiking Day
Free day to explore on your own or in groups. You will run out of time long before you run out of things to see. There’s more than 18 canyons, 13+ miles of well marked hiking trails, many waterfalls, cliffs and overlooks! Starved Rock State Park (map Page 2)
Just one possible itinerary to consider:
Bike over to Matthiessen State Park (map Page 2)
~4 mi. in early morning to spend a couple hours there in the Dells area. This park is much smaller, more primitive, less crowded but just as nice as Starved Rock. Then bike to east end of Starved Rock, lock up bikes there and explore Illinois, Ottawa, and Kaskakia Canyons and the Council Overhang. You’ve worked up an appetite so return to Starved Rock Lodge via bike and have lunch on the veranda and plan your afternoon hikes. St. Louis Canyon is a favorite! Later in day, return for dinner at the Lodge (on Veranda, at Back Door Lounge, or in Main Dining Room) and then make your way back to camp or your room for the evening. Those staying in the Starved Rock Lodge are welcome to come by the camp for a campfire and roasted marshmallows or s'mores!
Those interested, we'll meet at 6PM at the Lodge for dinner.
8/27 Mon. Ride Home
Pack up camp/hotel and have wheels rolling at 7:30AM from Starved Rock Lodge. Eat beforehand on your own or at the Café at the lodge (opens 6:30AM). Groups will be split into trails or roads for return to Joliet Metra with a lunch break in Morris at Maria’s Restorante & Pizzeria, 1591 N Division St. (or if we arrive before they open, Culver’s is just up the road at 1919 Division St.)!
Rock Island Metra line, departs Joliet at 1:21, 2:21, 3:21, 4:20, 5:20, 7:10, 8:30, or 9:30PM last train.
If the long weekend hasn’t tired you out enough, bike another 20 miles east on the paved Old Plank Road Trail and catch the Metra Electric line, departs Matteson at 2:53, 3:53, 4:43, 5:45, 6:45, 7:46 (every hour after thru 11:46PM)
What to Bring?
This will vary by individual and if you are camping. Campers should consider: Bike Lock, Bike lights, Hiking shoes, Camera, Flashlight/headlamp, Swiss Army Knife, Cell phone & charger, Ear plugs, Money, ID, Insurance card, Credit card, Tent/Hammock, Sleeping Bag, Waterproof bags, Bungees, Helmet, Gloves, Water bottles, Sunglasses, Sunblock, Insect Repellent, Toothbrush/paste, Snacks for on bike, Cue sheet (w/ baggie), Flip Flops, Toiletries for shower, Towel, Clothes drying line, Advil/medication, Raincoat