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I'm looking for some recommendations or ideas for longer rides on paved trails somewhere within driving distance from Chicago. Hoping for 50-60 miles ideally. Trails would be ideal but a safe route with low traffic roads would be fine also. Any ideas out there?

Thanks!!!
 

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midnight melon mounter
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Will crushed gravel do? The Green Bay Trail is mostly paved, with some crushed gravel sections. I've ridden the crushed gravel on my road bike for years without issue. It's well maintained.

It begins in Wilmette, and goes all the way up to the WI border.

check it: http://home.comcast.net/~cmorhiker/GBTrailBike.html

It's all one trail, but it begins as the Green Bay Trail, becomes the North Shore Path, and at some point is called the Robert McClory Trail. All the same thing.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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sgraessle4232 said:
I'm looking for some recommendations or ideas for longer rides on paved trails somewhere within driving distance from Chicago. Hoping for 50-60 miles ideally. Trails would be ideal but a safe route with low traffic roads would be fine also. Any ideas out there?

Thanks!!!
I think you could put together 30 miles of pavement with the Prairie Trail in McHenry Co. (Rindwood to Algonquin) and the northern part of the Fox River Trail south of Algonquin. I also think that the short crushed stone sections further south on the Fox River Trail are easily done with road bikes/tires. I would post the question on the Great Lakes section of BikeForums.net.

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=233

TF
 

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Google: "Glacial Drumlin Trail", "Ozaukee County Bike Trail", "Racine County Bike Trail", and "White River State Trail". GD and Ozaukee are paved, Racine and White River are crushed gravel. If you've never ridden Glacial Drumlin - DO !!! It's like a freeway for cyclists. Bring your fast bike and several water bottles. Best path I've ever seen.
 

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sgraessle4232 said:
I'm looking for some recommendations or ideas for longer rides on paved trails somewhere within driving distance from Chicago. Hoping for 50-60 miles ideally. Trails would be ideal but a safe route with low traffic roads would be fine also. Any ideas out there?

Thanks!!!
Fox river trail will do. Start at Aurora, ride up to where it turns to the McHenry county Prairie trail and keep going until it turns to gavel. Then turn around. That will be about 60 miles.

Or, if you can handle some crushed gravel (which has been really hard packed this far this summer) Ride to the prairie path in Wheaton. From there you can shoot to aurora, ride the Fox River trail to Elgin, and take the the Elgin spur of the Prairie path back to Wheaton for about 60 mile or so (maybe even a little more).

I ride the Wheaton-Aurora-Geneva-Wheaton loop a couple of times a month and it's a nice 30 mile loop.
 

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sgraessle4232 said:
I'm looking for some recommendations or ideas for longer rides on paved trails somewhere within driving distance from Chicago. Hoping for 50-60 miles ideally. Trails would be ideal but a safe route with low traffic roads would be fine also. Any ideas out there?

Thanks!!!
Is Minnesota driving distance from Chicago? The first choice I'd recommend for you is the Root River trail in SE Minnesota. A high quality trail and about as close as Minnesota gets to you (straight out 94 to 90). 65 miles end to end.
http://www.rootrivertrail.org

Pick up Doug's book: http://bikeverywhere.com/bvg/
for at least another dozen choices.

Scot
 

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still shedding season
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John Wilke said:
GD and Ozaukee are paved
The only map I found online of the Glacial Drumlin Trail shows that the eastern-most 12 miles are paved but the rest is crushed stone. Since the map was last updated five years ago, maybe the whole thing is now paved. If that's the case, I'll definitely check it out!

Edit: Looks like part of it near Johnson Creek is (or at least was a month ago) closed due to all the water and stuff it left behind - details here. I'm sure the water is gone by now, but there could be a lot of debris on the trail.
 

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Milwaukee trails

The Oak Leaf Trail system in Milwaukee is fairly long, it's smooth paved through the woods and clean. It's 22mi one way and it can be connected to the Glacial Drumlin. I personally don't ride the Glacial, it's boring and not completly paved.

I hit the Oak Leaf System everyday for about 45-60mi, have been getting max speeds in the 30's and overall avg. speeds of 15.7-19.2mph depending on head winds.

In total the Oak Leaf Trail is 99mi long, but there are some road rides needed to connect to broken trails.

http://www.city.milwaukee.gov/maps4460.htm
 

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THe Glacial Drumlin is paved only on the eastern-most 12 miles. However, you can link the Drumlin trail via City Streets to the New Berlin Recreation trail which in turn connects to the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail.

If you want one shot, try the Interurban Trial in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin: Here
 

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Captain Obvious
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old plank trail is 21 miles 1 way. you have to ride it as an out and back.
 

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Trail..

The Southern Oak Leaf is 23miles one way, it is comprised of the Franklin trail which starts at the Franklin expo center to Whitnall Park to Wetlands trail to root river parkway to New Berlin trail to Waukesha...New Berlin trail is pretty straight and plain, but the Franklin part (12mi) is twisty and rolling through the woods and very smooth
 
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