Curious about Jane Addams? The trail http://janeaddamstrail.com/ is named for Jane Addams (1860-1935), born and raised in Cedarville, and was internationally famous social work pioneer, founder of Chicago’s Hull House and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.. Her childhood spent roaming the open countryside around Cedarville taught her the importance of the outdoors as essential to a person’s mental and physical well-being.
We’ll meet at the Wes Block Trail head in Freeport, Illinois at 9 AM then depart northward riding 14 miles to the Illinois-Wisconsin line where the Jane Addams joins the Badger Trail of WI (good photo op). The trail is well packed, crushed limestone so pace will be limited to around 10-12 mph, and since this is a rails-to-trail conversion it is mostly flat with some 3 degree grades. (very bikeable with a road bike preferably using 25 or 28 mm tires or wider ). The trail offers beautiful scenery and many bridges, including a small covered bridge in Orangeville, passing wetlands, creeks, woods, and prairies. After Wisconsin we’ll back track south and probably have lunch at the High Noon Saloon in the historic town of Orangeville, IL.
After lunch the group will continue south, exit the trail, in to Cedarville and see her birthplace, grade school, burial site and visit the Cedarville Historical Museum where a volunteer will usher us through the Jane Addams permanent exhibit. ($3 donation).
I guestimate return to the Wes Block trail head around 4pm to begin the journey home. Yes, long, busy, informative and hopefully exhilarating day. Those with continuing interest and energy may want to visit downtown Freeport and visit the site/ statue of the 2nd debate between Lincoln and Douglas. (Count me in)
Trail Head Address for GPS: 2636 West Fairview Rd, Freeport IL
Parking, shelter, toilet facilities ; no water are here
Distance from Chicago 120 miles
Total distance around 35 miles RT on the trail. If unforeseen circumstances, (such as mechanicals, fatigue, weather, or time issues) occur I’ll truncate the ride to just Cedarville section (RT 15-20 miles) or Orangeville section (around 28 miles RT). Remember that the emphasis is not so much on the distance ridden, but on the history experienced..
Please RSVP by May 12 (e-mail) me so I know to expect you.
Joanne Davis-Mobile for the day: 773-848-3008
Connie Uselmann- Mobile for the day of: 765-301-0451
FYI Cell service can be spotty while on the trail
Once off the trail there are a few hills (2-4)
PLEASE pack a food bag for snacking because there are no convenient food options along the trail itself.
Also suggest two water bottles- one with an electrolyte mix .
Rain gear is always a good idea