Excursions

Frank Lloyd Wright Ride 2009

by bike and roll c... | 08/12/2009

Come enjoy the charm, beauty and architectural character of the near western suburbs of Chicago. The Oak Park Cycle Club and the Oak Park Area Convention & Visitors Bureau are pleased to announce that Wright Ride 2009 will take place on Sunday, August 16, 2009.

Why Wright?
The Wright Ride is named for one of Oak Park's most famous citizens, Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent the first 20 years of his 70 year career here, building numerous homes that still stand in the community, including his own. He lived and worked in the area between 1889 and 1909. His earliest work can be found here, including the Winslow House in neighboring River Forest. Oak Park boasts many examples of the very first Prairie Style houses, as well as Wright's world-renowned Unity Temple, which was built between 1905-1908.

Chicagoland's Best Public Place? Explore and Vote!

by crandell | 08/11/2009

The Metropolitan Planning Council has been on the hunt this summer for the best public place in Chicagoland. They've compiled over 50 photos and videos of people’s favorite public places and now they want you to vote for the best at http://www.placemakingchicago.com/places (deadline for voting is Sept. 14).

They've also created a handy Google Map to make it easier for you to explore interesting places to visit in the region, many of which are accessible by foot, bike or transit. Google offers directions by public transit for CTA and Metra to help you find your way.

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

by Thomas Garman | 07/20/2009

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Last weekend I walked the Wauponsee Trail to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. I started from the Manhattan Metra station, which unfortunately only has stops Monday through Friday (the Wauponsee trail can be found on the other side of the Manhattan Metra Station parking lot across from the actual station). If a person wanted to walk the trail on a weekend they could start in Joliet. I walked a total of about 45 miles in about 40 hours. I went from the Manhattan Metra station on Friday afternoon to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. I then walked the perimeter of the Prairie around to pick up the Wauponsee trail again near Symerton, IL and walked back along the trail to the Joliet Metra station on Sunday. The trails in Midewin are very interested because there are many bunkers and various features left over from the time when it was actually the biggest ammunition factory in the world.

Kenosha Daytrip via Metra: Beach, Streetcar and Lots of Walking

by crandell | 07/14/2009

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On July 3, my partner and I took a daycation with a couple friends up to Kenosha, Wis., via Metra. Kenosha first piqued my interest when I read about their streetcar system and harbor development. But I've also been interested for a while in checking out walkable towns in the Chicago area accessible by Metra (Kenosha's Metra station has a Walk Score of 83!).

Joliet Iron Works

by Thomas Garman | 07/14/2009

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Last Sunday I took the Rock Island Metra to Joliet to explore the Illinois and Michigan Canal. My long term goal is to walk most if not all of the canal path, but this weekend I set the modest goal of walking from the Joliet Metra to Lockport's Dellwood Park. Along the way I detoured through the Joliet Iron Works ruins, which are no more than a 20 minute walk through downtown Joliet from the Metra Station. The Joliet Iron Works ruins are a developed historical site, with explanatory signs that give the history of the various parts of the site. I found the explanations and history to be interesting and I came away from the site wanting to know more about it. The industrial ruins have a post-apocalyptic quality to them, like they are what remains from some kind of futuristic robot war that destroyed humanity. I spent a couple of hours walking around the site, reading the signs and taking pictures.