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riding, hiking, playing near CHICAGO?

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
I'm wondering what outside play opportunities exist in or near Chicago?

If you've ridden pavement in the city, could you tell me about it?

What about dirt for biking and hiking?

Are there good play opportunities within two hours? What about weekend trips (like 4-6 hours drive)?

Any snow fun to be had? Alpine, x-c, snowshoe?

TIA!
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
Kettle Moraine up in WI has some xc trails, but they do close the trails during the winter (at least they did when I lived there 6 years ago).

A good bike shop in the area (one closer to downtown, two north of the city, and one in WI) is RRB Cycles.
 

Angus

Jack Ass Pen Goo Win
Oct 15, 2004
1,478
0
South Bend
Believe it or not there is some decent riding close to Chicago, you just have to know where to look, for Road Riding there is the Lake Front which is nice when its warm.
Chicago suburbs have an extensive trail system called the Prairie path, which was formed on the rails to trails program, these trails are mostly crushed limestone and fairly tame but A great way to get some miles in with limited automotive interference.
For Single Track, There is Palos Hills in the Suburbs, which is a nice trail system and you might be suprised of some of its technical difficulty,(if you going looking for it).
There is also Trails in Deer Grove,Batavia,Knoch Knolls(Naperville) to name a few. For more Cycling info check out

Illinois MTB

this in an active local board that can really help you out.....
 
J

JRB

Guest
Are you moving??? Shouldn't they all know that you are a roadie???
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
Thanks all for the good info! It's nice to know there are some good options that way.


loco said:
Are you moving??? Shouldn't they all know that you are a roadie???
haha.

Not moving any time soon, just exploring my options, want to know if Chicago sucks or has some good stuff nearby.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
LordOpie said:
<snip>

Not moving any time soon, just exploring my options, want to know if Chicago sucks or has some good stuff nearby.
People who don't know any better might tell you there's good stuff near Chicago.

Since you've lived in Denver awhile, I'm here to tell you it'll suck. :p
 
J

JRB

Guest
SkaredShtles said:
People who don't know any better might tell you there's good stuff near Chicago.

Since you've lived in Denver awhile, I'm here to tell you it'll suck. :p
Not to defend Chicago, but who in their right mind takes advice from a hippy???
 

bluebug32

Asshat
Jan 14, 2005
6,143
0
Floating down the Hudson
Chicago's great! Even though I'm an eastern girl at heart, it's one of my favorite cities by far. I honestly don't know a lot about recreation. I do know that the Lakeshore path is really nice and well-developed and maintained. I remember reading something about best outdoor cities in a magazine and had specific places to go. It may have been either Outside or Bicycling. Perhaps you could find the article. If I come across it I'll pass it on.
 

Hawkeye

Monkey
Jan 8, 2002
623
0
Naperville, IL
SkaredShtles said:
People who don't know any better might tell you there's good stuff near Chicago.

Since you've lived in Denver awhile, I'm here to tell you it'll suck. :p

There are group rides for roadies all the time in the burbs and the city tries to promote riding.

As far as other things to do: Ravinia (outdoor picnic concerts) sports teams and all that kind of stuff.

A very frustrating aspect of Chicago life is the total lack of respect for environmental issues. SUV's out number cars on the roads, people throw butts out on the street, recycling programs in the city are a mess. Coming from Denver you may find this annoying.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
Hawkeye said:
There are group rides for roadies all the time in the burbs and the city tries to promote riding.

As far as other things to do: Ravinia (outdoor picnic concerts) sports teams and all that kind of stuff.

A very frustrating aspect of Chicago life is the total lack of respect for environmental issues. SUV's out number cars on the roads, people throw butts out on the street, recycling programs in the city are a mess. Coming from Denver you may find this annoying.
Naw - SUVs outnumber cars here and people are forever tossing their $hit out their windows.

I personally blame the people who have moved here from Chicago. :mad:
 

greenchris

Turbo Monkey
Jun 24, 2005
1,382
0
DA BEARS.
chicago is something special i just moved back from flagstaff and although i miss the mountains and the endless singletrack chicago is really a great city.riding is fun especially at Palos (30 min drive from the city). Michigan offers great riding within 2-3 hours from the city like Fort Custer state park and Yankee springs. Kettle in soiuthern wisconsin is also very nice. Within the state there is kickapoo in danville and jubilee (one of my favorites) both state parks are within 2 hours south east or west of the city. all of these places offer technical riding with rolling hills not mountains. as far as hiking in/around chicago every suburb offers smaller forest preserves which are great to get away for a little bit. Now the nightlife...chicago is a lot of fun-music, art, theatre, everything you can imagine.if you have any q's drop me a PM id be happy to share some stories or give you some suggestions :thumb:
 

PonySoldier

Monkey
May 5, 2004
823
0
Woodland Park Colorado
Chicago F**kin' owns Denver from a cultural perspective....however the weather leaves a bit to be desired relative to Denver and the Front Range..I was not a bike rider when I lived there so I cannot speak to this matter.. :D :monkey:
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
greenchris said:
chicago is something special i just moved back from flagstaff and although i miss the mountains and the endless singletrack chicago is really a great city.riding is fun especially at Palos (30 min drive from the city). Michigan offers great riding within 2-3 hours from the city like Fort Custer state park and Yankee springs. Kettle in soiuthern wisconsin is also very nice. Within the state there is kickapoo in danville and jubilee (one of my favorites) both state parks are within 2 hours south east or west of the city. all of these places offer technical riding with rolling hills not mountains.
You are definitely making lemonade! :thumb:

IMO you have to go at *least* 1000 miles from Chicago to start getting into good riding. ;)
 

firetoole

duch bag
Nov 19, 2004
1,910
0
Wooo Tulips!!!!
SkaredShtles said:
You are definitely making lemonade! :thumb:

IMO you have to go at *least* 1000 miles from Chicago to start getting into good riding. ;)
nothing beets good old technical Michigan singletrack :thumb:
if you are up for a drive the potawatomi trail in pinckney is the best in the state
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,847
4,196
In a van.... down by the river
firetoole said:
nothing beets good old technical Michigan singletrack :thumb:
if you are up for a drive the potawatomi trail in pinckney is the best in the state
Dude - I used to live in SW Michigan. That's where I started mt biking. That's why I live in Colorado. :p