The Chainlink

Hey Chainlinkers,

Does anyone have a decent route from Chicago to Argonne National Lab?  It looks like its a bit challenging to find a pleasant way out there.  I searched the forums and there are some tantalizing hints of a route, but nothing too specific.


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Staring from the Salt Creek Trail (McCormick Ave &  31st Street, across from the Brookfield Zoo), take the trail until you hit Wolf Rd.   Take Wolf Rd. south to 91st St.  Take 91st west and eventually you'll be cross on of the Argonne bike trails.


Enjoy the hills of Burr Ridge!

Thanks!  Is there a recommended route for geting to the trail?  Starting from the South Loop it looks like you could go Roosevelt to California to 26th--at least google thinks those are recommended bike streets.  

Can't help you there, unfortunately.   I'm a northsider and know only the northsider routes.

I work right up the street from Argonne and I too have been looking for this route.  I suspect it depends where you are starting from.  The problem for me riding from the south side is getting across Palos preserves and the Illinois Sanitary Canal.  I think going out 95th street (big climb, from Roberts to 88th Ave.) thru Palos to 104th avenue. then north on 104th  (Hilly)turns into Willow Springs road at Archer.  There is a bridge across the canal then go left on to German Church Rd and another left at Wolf Rd.  Wolf will feed you down to 91st and you can take this all the rest of the way to Cass Ave.  The entrance to Argonne is within 1/4 mile off Cass.  This is the flattest route I can think of with the most space to ride in.  The Palos crossing is Narrow but they are currently tearing up 95th and 104th and I am hopeful tthey will widen the roads for bike traffic.

Ahh From the south loop I might take Roosevelt to Ogden to Plainfield to Wolf

Honestly, I'd get the bike on the metra / CTA to Oak Park and start from there. 

If you don't mind taking the metra, you can catch it to westmont and bike the rest of the way.  I have a friend you used to commute out to Argonne that way.

I work at Argonne ... just want you to know you can't just wander in and look around once you get there, unlike Fermilab. There's a 10-mile crushed limestone trail around Argonne through the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, which surrounds the laboratory. (Named after long-ago preserve district board member "Bud" Waterfall, not because there's a waterfall in the preserve. Which there is, just to confuse people.) It's a great trail, with some actual hills and tight curves where you have to hit the brakes and plan ahead.

!!! I'd be delighted to sponsor a Chainlink tour of the actual Argonne National Laboratory, if I can get 5-10 commitments. You WILL be impressed. We're doing some great science in the national interest. Web site: Email me at

Dave, maybe you can organize a nice leisurely weekend morning ride on the Waterfall Glen path. Maybe tell us what those stone/concrete "doorways" that are near the trail are for ? (There are some like that on Ft. Campbell, Ky....I think that they used it during the WWI/II time frame for large quantities of ammo).

A small lunch or BBQ's (BYO Stuff - get some charcoal donated ?) for after the ride.


Just throwing out an idea.....

I use a GPS set for "bicycle." The only problem is that it doesn't deal with off road stuff like trails. If you ask it to navigate from where you are the route is in magenta so you can scroll around to view the whole route and even write turn by turn directions on a sheet of paper clipped to your brake cable. That way, if you use a trail you can ask the GPS for a route once you get back to a street. I was a cabbie for Niles for a while and always asked for the shortest distance to save on gas when navigating to a call and I NEVER got lost. We paid for those satellites so why not use them.

While not to Argonne, I second the Metra option (if that works for you). I commute via Metra with a older Dahon folder. You give up a bit of speed but you gain a more multi-modal options.

S said:

If you don't mind taking the metra, you can catch it to westmont and bike the rest of the way.  I have a friend you used to commute out to Argonne that way.


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