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Updated (Video): Recommended bike route to get to Big Marsh


I made it out there. Thanks for the suggestions. Link shows the route:



It's been a while since I've been wanting to head out to the Big Marsh. This weekend every other trail is expected to be closed except the Marsh so it might make sense for me to try to get out there. 

I don't own a car and have typically used trains and buses to commute out to the trails (for those interested). However, it seems that there is no easy way to commute out there via bus or train on a Saturday morning.

So, I was thinking of heading south on the Lake Front Path (I'm coming from the west loop). And then figuring out a route from Mile 0 of LFT to get me to the Big Marsh.

However, I do recall some guys at a BMX shop in Wicker Park telling me this was definitely asking for trouble. They assured I would most likely get my bike stolen. I have a 7 year old mountain bike and I was born and raised my whole life in Mexico so this had not even crossed my mind before. That being said, I have just been in this city for a year and a half and I'm not very familiar with the south neighborhoods in Chicago.

So, I would appreciate any insights from those who are familiar with these areas. If you know a route, have any tips or recommendations, let me know. 

Picture of my bike below:

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I've been riding in and around Big Marsh since before it was a park and tons and tons of people head south from the LFP to eat at Calumet, go to the Greenway, Three Floyds, Dunes, the late Velodrome, etc. etc. 

That being said, it is a HAUL down there and the infrastructure is totally prohibitive in many ways to getting there, making it a real bummer to the residents who live near the area, mostly (not people who can use cars to bring their bikes down, which, I did recently do the other day). However, at opening day and the REI race on Black Friday, I took the redline from near my house at Chinatown and rode over alongside Chicago State to 103rd, which is the most annoying part. From there, you just go all the way down Stony. I've ran into no issues there and it's pretty great!

But there are a lot of routes down south that are interesting and fine, barring poor road surfaces. If you haven't, I'd definitely think about taking Major Taylor to 103rd and heading over. A few years ago I was doing a lot of Route Marking around there and heard a lot of concern from people, but in general, riding your bike through Roseland or Beverly or Pullman generally might just have people look at you--or if you're wearing a yellow vest and spray painting the street, asking when the race is! 

Also, I'm looking to figure out ways to go out to BM after work from the Loop during the week in the future if you're ever interested! :) (Hence using the car once, ha) The knobby tires just seem like they'd get me tired by the time I got down there, so I'd definitely take transit back. 

Thanks for the info. I ended up not going this weeekend since I was under the weather. However, I did some additional research and saw there's a metra line that heads out there from Millenium park. Metra Electric or something along the lines.

When trails are wet and closed I often ride the LFT south to mile 0 and back. Its a boring ride, speacially on my bike. However, I've heard about the big marsh and its few jump lines and I was suprised at how relatively close it is from the south tip of the LFP. Considering there's not a lot of miles to ride out there, I thought I could use the motivaion to ride the LFT. i thought the metra option would be a good way to head back if it gets late or I'm too tired.

I plan on doing it soon, and do let me know if you head out there after work. I work in the loop and will be moving to the south loop next month. Cheers!

So you took the Red Line to 95th St., went east on 95th to King Dr., south on that to 103rd,east on that to Doty, made a right on Doty and then a left onto Stony Island, and then south on that to Big Marsh? Interesting, since I'd never gone there before. Maybe I might try to do a trip there, one of these days.

Looks like you also could bring a bike, use the bike rack, and hop on the #106 bus from 95th/Dan Ryan till you got to Stony Island/Doty and also back, as well. And I guess I'm right that the biggest challenge with biking on 103rd, is getting through the area by the 103rd St. exit from the Stony Island spur from the Calumet Expressway?

That's about right. Crossing those highway ramps and dealing with the merging traffic can be tricky, especially when you're watching for bad pavement at the same time. 

Taking the 106 bus to skip that part is always an option. When leaving Big Marsh, you cross 103rd into the bus terminal area and the stop for the 106 is right in front of you.


I made it out there. Thanks for the suggestions. Link shows the route:

Wow. I love this app. SO cool!

Did you have a good time?

Great time. Quite obvious by the photos that I enjoyed venturing into new territory. The park is rather smaller and the jumps are more oriented towards dirt jumper bikes. The overall ride was somehow easier and harder than I thought it would be. One of those days when you feel wind got you going both southbound and northbound.



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