Illinois Beach State Park Bike Camping

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Turin Bicycle

4710 N Damen Ave

Chicago, IL 60625

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A Weekend Bike Camping Adventure to Illinois Beach State Park


Start: Turin Bicycle, 4710 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Meet: 7:15 am Saturday morning

Ride to and Overnight: Camp Illinois Beach State Park

Return to Chicago by Train on Sunday when you like (from Zion or Waukegan)

Includes: Guided Tour, Campsites, and food for Friday Dinner and Saturday Breakfast.

You Bring: Camping and ride gear on your bike.

Day 1: 52 Miles | Day 2: 2 miles

Ridership Level: Easy

Pace: Casual, we ride together as a group. 12mph

All Are Welcome


  • One Night/Two Day Tent Campsite Reservation

  • Meals (Saturday Dinner and Sunday Breakfast)

  • Interpretative Trail Guides/Ride Leaders

  • Campfire & Camp Snacks


Welcome to a landscape that changes on every visit. Ice volcanoes, quicksand, and ridges and swales develop and shift throughout the year. On this ride we will explore the bicycle paths and lanes along the shores of Lake Michigan through the youngest land in Illinois to Illinois Beach State Park.

We'll discover the Dead River and learn what the Chicago area looked like before European settlement. We'll stroll through the North Shore communities taking in architectural masterpieces, learn about the towns along the way, and drop some interesting info nuggets on top of your noggins.

We'll end a day of riding with an overnight on the beach (with drinks) on the shores of Lake Michigan in the beautiful Illinois Beach State Park. This park preserves the last remaining segments of Lake Michigan shoreline in the state that are free of any major coastal engineering and the last expanse of coastal dunes in Illinois.

After an overnight in the State Park, we'll be riding back on Nature’s Path, one of the most scenic trail ways in North Eastern Illinois. The riding will be all in Forest Preserves back to the City Metropolis Chicago. So gather some friends and let's have a good time.

This is not your average group bike ride. At each break point and along the way, our guides will immerse and educate you in the history, geography, architecture, and the uniquely beautiful natural habitats and ecosystems of North Eastern Illinois. Our groups are small and personable to ensure the knowledge of the land is passed on.


  • Bike, tent, sleeping bags, and gear

  • Saturday lunch (we'll stop at a restuaurant), water, and snacks

  • Bike lock, spare inner tubes, bike lights, & helmets

  • Personal Items and changes of clothes

  • A hot/cold camp cup and spoon

THE Route


This ride is designated as EASY. That means it’s suitable for first-time bike campers or beginners and open to all. This is our most accessible and low-stress route departing from downtown Chicago. It features a lovely mostly off-street bike path route


These rides usually have a 1:4 guide to participant ratio to ensure a safe and smooth experience. Guides will have a bike tool kit, an air pump, a presta/schrader valve adapter, tire lever, chain breaker, and a crescent wrench (for those older bikes), a multi-toolkit, lights, and an emergency packet. Our guides will help you with any needed repairs. *If you have any of the above items please bring them along at your own convenience.

Our guides work with historians, biologists, forest rangers, and leading people in their fields to deliver a one-of-a-kind story to remember. They have setup multiple break points along the way in all the right places to ensure we get proper breaks and don't push too hard. If this is your first time out on a long ride, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go when you take some breaks.


How much are tickets?

  • $75.

What’s included in the registration?

  • Tickets include a two-night group tent campsite rental, ride marshals, food for all meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch, guided activities, trip planning, firewood, and s’mores.

  • Participants bring their own tents, sleeping bags, clothing, and other gear, and pay for their own return train ticket.

Tell me more about food.

  • The guides will prepare a hearty, tasty camp dinner on Saturday night (veggie options available for vegetarians) and Sunday breakfast (Coffee, oatmeal, fruit, and tea).

How do I get to the start point if I don’t live nearby?

  • It’s up to you to get to the start point however you can. A few options: 1) store your bike and gear near the start/end point in another participant's garage before and after the ride; 2)Take the closest CTA train to get to the start point - be aware of rush-hour bike restrictions

Do I need to bring my own tent and sleeping gear?

  • Yes! Check out a sample packing list here. If you already own camping equipment, you can use what you have. However, if you’re looking to invest, buy gear intended for backpacking; it’s lighter and more packable than car camping equipment. We’ll cover how to pack for family bike camping in an upcoming blog post.

  • Don’t own any camping equipment? Our two Cook County Forest Preserve destinations (Camp Dan Beard and and Camp Shabbona Woods) all rent camping gear. See here for more details.

Do you transport the tent and camping gear to the destination?

  • No. There is no SAG vehicle. Participants transport themselves, plus tent and gear to the campsite on their bike. That’s what makes it bike camping! Please pack lightly and find a way to load your bike solidly.

What happens if it rains, is the event cancelled?

  • No. We will make every effort to put the event on and would only cancel in the event of biblical extreme weather or the zombie apocalypse (in which case, we’d all be furiously peddling with the other bike-powered preppers anyway). We strongly suggest you bring rain gear and if it looks like rain, garbage bags double wrapped over your gear with some tape where necessary can good-enough waterproof almost anything.

Bike Rentals?

  • Check out Bobby's Bike and Hike. They hook our people up with a mini-discount.

What kind of bike do I need?

  • There is a bit of limestone, but really, all bikes are welcome.

What happens if my bike breaks?

  • We are here to help and have dedicated ride marshals in the group who will make simple repairs and help you out in any type of breakdown in order to get you rolling again.

  • This is frontcountry camping, which means we’re never that far from a bike shop if things get serious.

What happens if I’m too slow ?

  • We aim for no rider left behind! If you can keep pedaling and have a positive attitude, we won't leave you. Plus, we ride slowly, usually around 12 mph.

  • If you just can't complete the ride, bug out options include Metra, CTA, rideshare and phone a friend, depending on location.

Are there other rides?

  • Yes! For 2019, there are a total of 10, about once a month.

  • Shorter free day rides called Where the Wild Things Grow happen monthly.

How fun is it riding with other folks?

  • Adventures create memories that last a lifetime so be prepared to have some fun and feel those warm communal vibes along the route and around that campfire.


Individual/Participant Cancellations: No Refunds. No Transfers. | We are a small organization and due to the small group size of our rides, a ticket cancellation/no show has a real impact into the planning of the tour and as such, we cannot provide any refunds for a participant cancellation. By registering, you acknowledge and agree there will not be a refund if you cancel or do not show up for the event. Tickets are non-transferable and can not be resold. Please contact the ride organizer if you are no longer able to attend.

Organizer Cancellation: Full Refund | Nobody wants an event to be cancelled. But in the very rare case the organizer does cancel the event at their discretion due to unforeseen circumstances, then registered participants will receive a full refund. To date this organizer has never cancelled an event.

Weather and Rain: We do not cancel an event for rain or a storm. We ride rain or shine. Understand that Chicago weather is typically passing, if it gets intense we will wait it out in a provided shelter then continue biking. FYI-Some of the best views and greenery are after a rain storm.


We're The Out Our Front Door Organization. A Bike Camping Community For Chicago and The Lower Lake Michigan Basin.

See Our Full Schedule Of Events Here

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Turin Bicycle

4710 N Damen Ave

Chicago, IL 60625

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