Motorcycle Route Author
Written DirectionsCross the Poplar Street Bridge from St. Louis to Illinois and take the first exit on the right to Route 3. In Dupo, cut off to a parallel rouad through town and continue South to Columbia. Pick up the Bluff Road to Prairie du Rocher and Modoc just past the Route 3 overpass. The Modoc Ferry to Ste. Genevieve, MO costs $6 for motorcycle/trike and riders. Follow the signs in Ste. Genevieve to Missouri Rt. 61 but then cut off on Route 32 West when you get near I-55. Take Route 32 West to Route 21 North. Route 21 becomes Tesson Ferry Road in St. Louis County.
SceneryAfter riding through about 10 miles of industrial wasteland in East St. Louis, Cahokia and Dupo, the route follows the Mississippi River flood plain below the river bluffs from Columbia, IL to Prairie du Rocher, IL. Nice flat road in Illinois with good views of the fertile bottom land. Stop at Ft. Chartres State Park (colonial era restored French/British fort). Great place for a picnic lunch. Continue along the Bluff Road to the Modoc Ferry to Ste. Genevieve, MO. Beautiful rolling hills and gentle curves along Missouri routes 32 and 21, passing through the lead mining region, before returning to St. Louis.
Pack a picnic lunch if you plan to do this trip in one day. Its an all day affair, at least 6 hours.
Drive EnjoymentFlat along the Bluff Road in Illinois with a bit of loose gravel here and there and a couple of rough railroad crossings. Watch out for possible clearance issues on the Modoc Ferry loading ramps if you are on a trike.
Tourism OpportunitiesAmenities rating: Nothing along the Bluff Road in Illinois for the 50 mile stretch so fill up at the Shell station at the exit from Rt. 3 in Illinois if you are low on gas. Lots of places for food and fuel in Missouri. Check out the cafes in Ste. Genevieve. Consider spending a night at one of the B&Bs in town.
Motorcycle Road Additional info- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .
1. The map shown is not route described. The ferry across the Mississippi is at Modoc-Ste. Genevieve, not Chester-Perryville.
2. Bluff Road in Illinois is an unlined, blacktop road past 'old' Valmeyer. There are usually about 2 weeks during the summer where some portion of it has recently been chipped. Generally, the layer is thin and not loose, but just a warning for inexperienced riders.
3. There is fuel available in Prairie du Rocher. Pay at the pump at the FS mill, or you can pay cash if you fill up during the day when the mill is open. Just go to the office at the scale.
4. There is food available in PdR at Lisa's Market Street Grille. Places to get a drink in Illinois: Lisa's, the Rocher Pub (next door to Lisa's), the American Legion (on Route 155 just before the railroad tracks on the way to Fort de Chartres), the Boondocks in Modoc, and Fountain Inn, in Fountain.
5. Ferry rate is now $7 for motorcycles, and hours vary by season. Also, the ferry will not run when the river level is high. Check online before you go.
This is a beautiful ride in the fall for the foliage along the bluffs. If you do the ride during the heat of the summer, be sure to stop at the quarry to cool off from the cold air emitted from the caves. Ste. Gen has lots of wonderful antique shops, boutiques, restaurants. There are historical sites and bed & breakfasts located on both sides of the river. This area thrives on revenue from the motorcycle community, so you can be sure to be treated well :) See you on Bluff Road!
Photo Gallery of St. Louis / Il Bluffs / MO Mining Country Loop (7 Photos)
Interactive Views Along This Route