Canadian Cyclist


November 3/09 9:07 am - Grand Illinois Trail And Parks Tour set for 2010

Posted by Editoress on 11/3/09

We “head for the hills” on the 2010's GITAP – to Galena and the unglaciated area of northern Illinois. The Grand Illinois Trail's northern leg promises great cycling (and not all hills), scenery, and state parks – along with our special blend of small numbers and large friendliness. Make plans now to enjoy an early summer vacation on a bike with us in northern Illinois.

The tour begins on Sunday, June 13 and wraps up on Friday, June 18.

Yes, the 2010's ride is a six-day ride. We will begin and end at Freeport's dramatic Highland Community College. From there we're off to three outstanding state parks – Rock Cut, Lake Le Aqua Na, and Mississippi Palisades. In the ride's middle we'll take a two night stay at lovely Galena – within walking distance of its historic downtown. Most of the route will be on roadways that are a part of the Grand Illinois Trail The minimum distance this year is 260 miles for the week, but by taking extra loops, it will be possible to do 465 miles.

Here's what to look forward to for 2010:

• A start and end at Freeport's Highland Community College – west on US 20 from I-90.
• Two photogenic lake-based state parks – Rock Cut and Lake Le Aqua Na
• One state park, Palisades, with superb views of the Mighty Mississippi.
• A two-night stopover at Galena's city park – complete with swimming pool.

Of course, the ride includes all of the above, plus these basics:

• A loop ride – starting and ending at the same place – with free secure parking for the week.
• A route that follows the Grand Illinois Trail through its northern portion
• Many mileage choices – anywhere from 260 to 465 miles for the week. Also we will have road options for trails without a hard pavement.
• Tent camping in state parks, with a motel package for the week available at additional cost.
• The possibility of camping on your own at Highland College on the night before the ride.
• Showers and luggage transportation provided.
• All breakfasts and dinners.
• T-shirt, emergency sags, bike repair, and refreshments stops when needed – with a jersey available for purchase.

• Nightly meetings with door prizes, entertainment, and ride information.
• A photo contest (Check our web site for photos from previous years.)

• The unique-to-America Velosophie program – optional nightly discussions sponsored and led by the Illinois Humanities Council.

Sponsored by the League of Illinois Bicyclists with support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It's an all volunteer operation, with any profits going to support LIB and its state-wide bicycle programs.

GITAP is a small ride with a limit of 160 riders. Last year we were filled up by mid-March, so don't put off registration too long. Go to


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