Peoria River Ride + ADD NEW ROUTE
23 in Illinois Illinois241 Miles
on April 1, 2009
- Trip Toolbox
I begin this trip in my hometown of Monticello, but since the route is a continuous loop you should be able to start just about anywhere on it. From the local Mobil gas station at the corner of Market and Center Street, head West on Center Street out of town and over the I-72 overpass. The road then becomes Cr-5. Follow Cr-5 up to the town of Deland where you have to make a slight jog right on Rt #10 and then back left, (North), on Cr-5 to Farmer City. Turning right , (east), on Clinton Ave, will allow you to go around the town and pick up US 150. Take a left, (West), turn on US 150 and pass through the towns of LeRoy, Downs, and continue on to the stoplight at 1900E/Cr-29 Towanda Barnes Road. Make a right, (North), turn at the light and take this road, bypassing Bloomington, up through the town of Towanda. Continue out of town till you reach 2200N/Cr-12, and make a left,(West), turn. Follow this road through Hudson, across I-39, with a slight dogleg North and then back East. A little farther down the road will be a small jog North that hooks back up with US 150. Follow this through Congerville continuing on to Goodfield. Here US 150 intersects with Hwy 117. Take 117 North to the town of Eureka. Continue through town till you find US 24. Make a left, (West), on US 24 and this will take you all the way across the Illinois river. Stay in the right hand lane as you cross over the 24/150/McClugage bridge that takes you over the Illinois river, and take the first exit, (right), which will take you down to Hwy 29. Turn left, (North), on Hwy 29 and continue up through the edge of Peoria Heights, through Mossville, and finally South Rome. At South Rome you have the option of continuing on up Hwy 29 to the next waypoint, or exiting onto River Beach Drive. If you exit on River View you will be closer to, as the name says, a view of the river! :) F.Y.I.-Hwy 29 parallels River View Drive and may become a necessity during high water periods as it is possible River View may be covered with water. For this reason, even if the road is open, keep your eyes peeled for pot holes. Some of them look more like bomb craters. My first trip, we stopped at a bar/restaurant called "Dockside". More on that later. River View Drive continues quite a ways North towards the next waypoint and there are numerous exits to get back to Hwy 29.We exited on the Cloverdale Road exit, and continued on up to the town of Sparland. From here exit off Hwy 29 on to Il 17 East. 17 East will take you back across the river to the town of Lacon. As you enter Lacon, watch for a gas station on your right, (Casey's I think). Good place to top off your tank and if you look across the street down on the next corner, you will see Julie's Corner Store. You owe it to yourself to visit her shop because besides delicious homemade fudge, the store is full of all kinds of doo-dads, signs, crafts, etc. She even has a cookie jar in the shape of a motorcycle. Next ride up there, that is going to find a place in my saddlebag if it's still there. As I mentioned earlier, something for everyone! Once you leave Julie's, continue on through town till you come to IL 26. Make a right , (South), on 26 and continue down about 10 miles to Coon Creek Road. If you have sharp eyes, you may catch a glimpse of an eagle or other wild life along the way. OK, Coon Creek road is the next left, (East) past the Richard Creek Bridge. Now is when you need to really start paying attention. There are a few easy curves and a really sexy switch back that has you grabbing gears as you go around the corner and start going up a hill. Remember, this is farming country so stay alert for farmers, tractors, combines, etc. This is the area my wife and I spotted a flock, (clutch? brood? etc.) of about 15 wild turkeys. They will hear you coming (even you Beemer's) so they shouldn't pose a real problem. Eagles are a different story. They are slow and don't always feel like they should have to move out of your way. And when they do, it takes them a little longer to get up and out of harms way than your average bird. Also we saw Canadian honkers along the route and a few deer. Any of these critters could put the hurt on you should you meet up unexpectedly, so be alert! Off the soap box! Follow Coon Creek till you come to the "T". This will be Cr-1700. Take a left , (East), on 1700 and follow it over to the first right which shows on the map as "Cemetery Road", but has been renamed "Coal Bank Road". (I found this out the hard way :O ) Coal Bank Road, (aka-Cemetery Road), will take you right into Metamora. Several side streets will take you down to Il 116. I ended up going down the first road which is Susan Lane and it dumped me out right at Il 116. Turning left,(East), on Il 116 will take you through Metamora and on to the town of Roanoke. As you enter Roanoke, watch for the Ford Dealership on your right. Take the first right between car lots, which is West Front Street, and follow it down to Cr-4. Continue East on Cr-4 across the I-39 overpass to Il-251. Turn right, (South), on Il-251 and continue into El Paso where you will make a left, (East), on US 24. 24 will take you through the towns of Gridley, Chenoa, and finally to Weston. Here you will turn right, (South),on 3360E/Cr-13. This takes you down into Colfax where you will turn right, (West), on Il 165. Take Il 165 out to 3300E/Cr-15 and head south to Arrowsmith. Here, before you reach town, is where you will see the wind turbine farm(s). In a word, "Awesome". Stop along the road, stretch and take a few pictures. Just watch out for the "Cage" drivers. :O After you load up for the next leg, keep heading South through Arrowsmith until you arrive at 100N/Cr-36. Take a left heading back East into the town of Saybrook. In the middle of town you will intersect with Cr-5. Make a right, (South), turn and continue through the town of BellFlower where you will run into the next "T" which is US 136. Go left, (East), on 136 to Cr-3. Follow Cr-3, (which becomes Cr-2according to my map source) to Mansfield. As you enter Mansfield, take a right, (West), on E 2900 Rd., and then back left, (South), on N Washington Street. Once out of the city limits, Washington becomes Cr-2. Follow Cr-2 South to Hwy 10. Turn right,(East), on 10 then back left,(South), on Shady Rest Road. Follow Shady Rest to 1532. Bear right, (South), staying on 1532 all the way down to 105. 105 takes you right back to the Mobil Station you started from. Was that fun or what?!!! :~) .
I will mention here I am not a professional map maker. I tried to weed out all of my mistakes in the directions, but you know how Murphy's Law works, and I am not even Irish. Check my route against your Mapsource and try to watch for places to get back to civilization in the event I led you astray. If that does happen, I ask your forgiveness now!
This trip will take you through central Illinois, mostly flatland with a few twisty's, and for the most part, 2 lane roads. The trip will take you across the Illinois river into Peoria with a trip along the river and back across into the small town of Lacon. Here a quick trip to Julie's Fudge Shop is sure to put a smile on everyone's face. Later on you will get up close and personal with a wind turbine farm. Just have to see one of these bad boys up close to appreciate there size. The route is a connected loop so you can "jump" on anywhere in the route and still see everything.
Another of my wife's barn pic's
Most of the roads are two lane blacktop. There will be some short spurts on 4 lanes, but these are few and far in between. A little past the 1/2 way mark will put you on a country road that has some nice curves and a switch back that will have you grabbing gears because once around the corner it goes up. Nothing a novice couldn't handle, just enough twist and turns to keep things interesting. Also along this road I have encountered wild turkeys, geese, even a bald eagle. Like the wind turbines, you can't believe how huge they are till you get close to one.
This is the bridge spanning the river between Sparland & Lacon, from the Lacon side (more pictures found below)
There is something for everyone on this route. Beautiful scenery, antique shops, flea markets, as well as mall shopping if that's your thing. Small towns, big towns, fancy food, fast food, it has it all. I mention eating at Dockside while we was on the River View Road. We arrived, waited, placed our orders,(there was 8 of us), and then waited again. For over an hour. The place wasn't that busy, so I don't know what the problem was. The guy brought our food an hour later, but offered no explanation. The other members had been here before and the service was a lot better I guess or they would not have returned. One other noteworthy thing to mention here. As we pulled out of the parking lot back on to River Beach Drive, there was this HUGE crater about the size of a VW right on the edge of the road. 7 riders made it around no problem. I was number 8. I was watching a car across the street trying to determine if he had the right of way or if I did. Also there is a blind curve coming from the same direction. Anyway, long story short, I was watching the car, the blind curve, but not the road in front of me. The crater swallowed my Ultra Classic with me on it, and spit us out the other side. I landed on my back in the grass with a few bruises and the wind knocked out of me. My bike had some road rash on the saddlebag crash bars. Extremely lucky to say the least. Anyway, for my part, I will pick someplace else next time to eat. Like Avanti's, (Italian), in the middle of Peoria. A little out of the way, but the food, service, and prices were great. The address is: 1301 West Main Street, Peoria. To reach it, you have to go back to where you first crossed over the Illinois river. Instead of the right hand lane, stay in the left hand lane and continue downtown to North University. Take a left on University down to West Main Street. Avanti's is right on the corner of Main & University. Across the street is a Starbucks for those so inclined. I am happy with the house blend at Avanti's, and as I mentioned the food, whether a sandwich or a meal is great.
- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . I had missed this place the first few times up there, but due to some road construction, I found it. It is located just around the corner from Julie's Fudge Shop. I am not sure what to call it- Museum, shop, or what. The owner, a fellow by the name of Mr. Cotten,(never told me his first name), has to be one of the neatest, intelligent people I have ever met in my life. Besides having some really cool looking motorcycles inside the man is a virtual rocket scientist when it comes to restoring motorcycles. I don't think that is his main interest. As I understand it, he is a carburetor man. He rebuilds old carbs and assorted pieces. I only wish I had enough smarts to understand everything the guy was telling me. I probably spent an hour in his establishment-the man is a walking encyclopedia on old American bikes. Well worth a visit, if only to see his old Harley's. continued continued continued continued continued continued continued continued This foxy looking lady is Julie-the owner. Just as sweet and nice as her fudge! Inside Julie's place! This is only a small sample of the treasures that will greet you when you walk in. Fudge out of this world! I see something new and different every trip there! continued continued continued After we left Lacon, we was riding South on Hwy 26 and my wife happened to glance over and see the bridge out in the middle of a pasture. While investigating the bridge, we spotted the "Groucho glasses & 'stache" at the next house A little further down Hwy 26 my wife spotted yet another barn she just had to have a picture of. If you look close you can see an eagle flying over the top of the barn. There were 2 of them "feasting" on some roadkill next to the barn, but they took off as soon as we pulled over. I think they kept returning to make sure we didn't try to haul off there booty! A careful observer will see huge nest up in the tree's that are eagle nest. I spent most of my attention making sure we didn't end up roadkill..... Another of my wife's barn pic's If you look really close in the center of the picture, you can just barely make out a flock, (brood?), of turkey's. They was a movin'! wind turbine farm located just before you get to Arrowsmith. Pictures don't do it justice-These Bad Boy's are HUGE!!! continued This is a goat farm located a few miles past Farmer City. There were some cute little ones in the bunch, (herd, flock?) This is a goat farm located a few miles past Farmer City. There were some cute little ones in the bunch, (herd, flock?) This is a section of the famous old "Route 66" located on the outside edge of Towanda I saw this old car just setting out in the middle of a pasture as I was leaving the town of Hudson One of hundreds of beautiful farm houses passes along the routee The River Beach road was open and as I was traveling down the road, I spotted these 2 old river boats. Looks like repairs had been attempted at some point in time, but not for a few years. Probably some interesting history surrounding thems The River Beach road was open and as I was traveling down the road, I spotted these 2 old river boats. Looks like repairs had been attempted at some point in time, but not for a few years. Probably some interesting history surrounding them This is the Dockside Restaurant I described in my article. For all practical intents and purposes, it appears to be closed. However on the plus side I was able to snap the pictures of the above 2 boats, (ships), plus the boat in the next picture This ship, (boat, barge, tug?), was beached in front of the above mentioned Dockside Restaurant. Looks like something out of a disaster movie. Again, looks like someone has been making repairs on it, but when---??? Has to be a story here :) After I returned to 29 from River Beach I spied a local Dairy Queen and had to have a Blizzard. I was just kind of looking around and decided to head back down to the river on a side street. It was like a whole different town down there. I found this fisherman trying his luck on the waterfront. The water appeared to be several feet above normal pool. The guy fishing said they was biting good yesterday. Been there-done that As I was traveling down the main drag in (Old) downtown Chillicothe, I spied this (abandoned ?)theatre. Inside the ticket takers booth sat a stuffed ET sipping a Pepsi while going through the receipts This is a view of the "main drag" as I was standing in front of ET at the theatre A street view of the "ET" theatre One of several craft shops lining the street This is a pub & eatery across the street from the theatre. It looked very busy inside so I am assuming it might be worth your time should you arrive hungry. I had settled for Mickey D's earlier or I would have tried it These are pictures of the "Chillicothe Rock Island RR Museum", that should appeal to the train people reading this. This is located just up the street from the aforementioned pub & eatery "Chillicothe Rock Island RR Museum" continued "Chillicothe Rock Island RR Museum" continued "Chillicothe Rock Island RR Museum" continued "Chillicothe Rock Island RR Museum" continued This is one of several antique shops located in the town of Lacon continued continued
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