Off-Leash Overnighter: I&M Canal is a bite-sized, minimally supported bikepacking adventure. It gives you and your family a chance to sneak away by bike for a beautiful night of camping under the stars at Will County Forest Preserve District's McKinley Woods on the Des Plaines River near Channahon, Illinois and return Sunday morning before your busy life even knows you were gone.
Where, When, How Far
Off-Leash Overnighter: I&M Canal begins with an optional campout Friday night, September 13, at Hickory Creek Preserve near Frankfort, Illinois (get location). Join us by bike, or there's plenty of parking to leave your car there for the weekend. Dinner and breakfast this first night is up to you; visit one of the nearby restaurants, or bring your own food for campfire cooking.
The ride leaves Saturday morning for a liesurely, minimally supported 25-mile roll almost entirely on the Old Plank Road Trail and I&M Canal Trail for a night of camping at McKinley Woods Forest Preserve on the Des Plaines River, just south of Channahon, Illinois. You'll have a ton of time to explore, dilly-dally, eat and drink along the way. In the evening, we'll provide dinner.
We'll provide breakfast Sunday morning before rolling 25 miles back to Hickory Creek Preserve, having slipped some adventure into our back pocket to get us through the week a little more relaxed, and looking forward to the next Off-Leash Overnighter. Kids welcome!
Friday, September 13 (Optional)
6pm-8pm Pitch your tent at Hickory Creek Preserve. Dinner on your own.
Saturday, September 14
9am - 10am Check In. Breakfast on your own (for Friday overnighters)
10am - Pre-ride meeting (mandatory)
10:15am - 6pm Ride to McKinley Woods. Paper and electronic maps (RidewithGPS app, GPX files) provided. Explore! Stop and do things! Have fun! Lunch/drinks/snacks along the way on your own.
6pm - 8pm Dinner (on us!) at McKinley Woods. S'mores, campfire socializing afterward
Sunday, September 15
7am - 8:30am Breakfast on us!
9am - 12pm Ride back to Hickory Creek Preserve
What you bring:
You bring: Your bike loaded with the camping gear and supplies (tent or hammock, sleeping bag, snacks/food/liquids, bug spray, sunscreen, extra clothes, guitar, ghost stories, etc...) you need to enjoy spending 1-2 nights outside. (See our How-To page)
Bike campers 12 - 112 years old - $75 until 4/1; then $85
Bike campers 0 to 11 years old - Free