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Galena Backroads Loop

4 days 10 hours ago #1358 by Patrick King
Replied by Patrick King on topic Galena Backroads Loop
Great route, Mark!
Thank you for sharing it with us

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2 weeks 3 days ago #1345 by fran kokes
Replied by fran kokes on topic Galena Backroads Loop
Really great, Mark. Thanx a lot.
I copied out your route much the same as I would for a hard copy for my tank bad window.
Then I googled up a map and checked all the turns for myself.
Being a life-long dolt, I only got lost on paper 3 times.
Can't wait to ride it for real.
I will prolly post right here when I am going and from where so that riders wishing to join me can join in.
I will likely opt out of I-88 both ways or maybe take it homeward if the day gets long.
Sundays are best for me.
Moonshine will happen on a Saturday as it is not open on Sunday.
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  • Mark Novack
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2 weeks 4 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago #1344 by Mark Novack
Galena Backroads Loop was created by Mark Novack
Here is a route that is a combination of some of my favorite roads in N Illinois that get you up to Galena and back. Several of us rode it recently and we altered my original route to add in IL Route 2 down the Rock River on the way home. It is about a 360 mile ride from Warrenville, so add on your location to/from there to get a total, but basically a day trip, even if you stop more than we did.

Our starting point was Exelon HQ near the Winfield Road exit off of I-88. I also modified the route slightly from the original route we rode to make it easier from Dixon to Rt. 40. You should be able to pick up the GPS route or follow the old fashioned way below if you get on I-88 heading west towards Iowa from Chicago. To Dixon on I-88 and back from Dixon on I-88 is slab to get you quickly to and from the good roads. Route 20 from Lena to Rockford is not too exciting either, but the rest of the route are some of the better roads in Northern Illinois. You can always find some back roads to and from Dixon if you so desire to stay off the slab.

Here are some written directions for Fran or others who prefer GPS-less travel:
-Take I-88 west and exit at EXIT 54 (Dixon/IL Rt 26);-Follow IL Rt 2 North and cross the Rock River;
-About 2.5 miles and after you cross the Rock River take IL Rt 2 South;
-Follow IL Rt 2 about 12.5 miles along the Rock River until you get to Sterling, IL;
-In Sterling take IL Rt 40 North;-You will go about 40 miles north on IL Rt 40 until you get to Mt Carroll, IL;
-IL Rt 40 will end at IL Rt 78 (Clay St) and you will go North (right) through Mt Carroll;
-Follow IL Rt 78 North for about 2 miles;
-About 2 miles North of downtown Mt Carroll you will go Left on Elizabeth Road;
-Follow Elizabeth Road NW (*** Be cautious on Elizabeth Road and roads up to Rt 20 as almost every time I have traveled them there are places where gravel from the shoulder and other debris from farming get scattered onto the road and could pose a hazard if you hit a corner too hot)
-Follow Elizabeth Road about 8 miles and at the T of Zion and Elizabeth you will go to the Right to stay on Elizabeth Road;
-After you travel about 2 more miles, Elizabeth Road will become E Massbach Road;
-About 3.25 miles you will make a Left on Albrecht Road at the Albright Cemetery;
-Travel about 1/4 mile on Albrecht Road and you will come to a T intersection of S. Derinda Road;
-At S. Derinda Road, make a Right (North);
-In about 8 miles, S. Derinda Road will end at US 20, make a Left (West) on US 20 towards Elizabeth, IL;
-Follow Rt 20 through Elizabeth for about 3 miles;
-Just outside of Elizabeth you will turn Right (North) on Elizabeth Scales Mound Road;
-Follow Elizabeth Scales Mound Road North about 12.5 miles to Stagecoach Trail;
-At Stagecoach Trail make a Left (East) and this will take you into downtown Galena the back way;
-Galena is a good lunch stop, if you started this route from Chicago around 7/8am, you should be in Galena around lunchtime if you made a short gas stop, etc enroute;
-Head back out of Galena the route you came in on (may be called Field St in Galena) but you need to get back on Stagecoach Trail;
-You will follow Stagecoach Trail about 42 miles until you get to Rt 20 outside of Lena near the Rafters Restaurant (Stagecoach Trail may have a name change to Galena Road around Nora, IL);
-At Rt 20 go East (left) toward Rockford);
-You will travel about 50 miles on Rt 20 to the Il Rt 2 (Dixon) exit;
-Exit Rt 20 to IL Rt 2 South (Dixon);
-Follow IL Rt 2 South along the Rock River for about 38 miles;
-In Dixon you will make a Left (South) on Il Rt 26 to get back to I-88;
-Go South on IL Rt 26 to I-88 and take I-88 East back home.

Here is a link to the Route on REVER:
Ride on REVER

GPX file should be attached

File Attachment:

File Name: GalenaAppl...Trip.GPX
File Size:400 KB
Last edit: 2 weeks 3 days ago by Mark Novack. Reason: Updated GPX file and REVER file to correct route error different from written directions
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