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Starved Rock bike/hike/camp Weekend

Saturday, August 31, 2019, 7:00 AM until Monday, September 2, 2019, 7:00 PM
Joliet Route 66 Diner
22 W Clinton St.
Joliet, IL  60432
Mark Langenderfer
Endurance Ride
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee
Matthiessen State Park


Again this year – a 3-day event for more relaxing and exploring time!  Share a hotel room at Starved Rock Lodge or camp at Starved Rock campgrounds.  We’ll bike down
on Sat., hike on Sun., and bike back on Monday, Labor Day.  Bike options include all road or the I&M canal limestone trail.  We will have riders doing both!  You can start to/from your home, Joliet Metra 60 mi., or Matteson Metra 80 mi.  For Metra, bring a bungee cord or something to tie up your bike inside your train car.  More info about bikes on Metra trains.

Note: This is a self-supported ride with no official SAG service. If anyone would like to drive out and camp/hike with us, you are welcome to join!  Bonus kudos if you can haul cyclists' gear in your car!
Final lodging costs will be based on number of people camping and how many staying in hotel rooms. Payment will be due 8/27 via PayPal or Venmo.  Stay tuned for actual amounts due after registration closes 8/26.  We have already reserved 3 hotel rooms and 2 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-$40 (Includes water, electric, bathrooms/showers. Alcohol not permitted.)
Hotel at Lodge 2 nights:  $142 (if 2 people in each room which have double full beds)
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.


20.7 mi Matteson IL Metra to Joliet Rt. 66 Diner
65.7 mi Joliet to Starved Rock
64.3 mi Starved Rock to Joliet
63.4 mi Starved Rock (south option) to Joliet
Limestone Trails:
64.1 mi Joliet to Starved Rock
62.4 mi Starved Rock to Joliet
The links above have an export GPX file option if you want to try to import to your device.
Download/save/print files in this folder:
(cue sheets for all options, area map, hike map, campsite locations)
Cue Key:
R = Right, NR = Next Right, VR = Veer Right, RT = Right at "T", 2R = 2nd Right
L = Left,   NL = Next Left,    VL = Veer Left,    LT = Left at "T",    3L = 3rd Left

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
Buy a $10 weekend pass on Metra train
2) taking the 8:30AM Rock Island Metra from LaSalle station direct to Joliet, arrives 10:10AM, or
3) taking the 7:10AM Metra Electric from Millennium Station to Matteson, arrives 8:11AM and then biking 20 miles on the paved Old Plank Road trail to Joliet. 

From Joliet, we will split into 2 groups, road and trail.  All routes and cue sheets available at links above.
(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.)

Sun. Hiking Day

Breakfast on your own (bring granola/fruit etc. with you or just eat at the Café at Starved Rock Lodge, opens 6:30AM)
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 5PM at the Lodge for dinner.

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 Culver’s, 1919 Division St.

Metra operates Sunday schedule as it is a holiday.  Weekend Pass should still be good.
Rock Island Metra line, departs Joliet at 12:15, 2:15, 4:15, 6:15, 8:20PM 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 1:45, 3:45, 5:45, 7:45, 11:45PM last train.

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

Questions?  Just ask.