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  1. #1
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    Trails in Southern Illinois?

    I recently started attending Southern Illinois University and was wondering if anyone knew of any good trails to ride down there.

    I currently only know of 2, one at Lake Kinkaid and the other at Cedar Lake. Its a shame that mtb is not allowed in the Shawnee National Forest.
    Anybody know of any other trails? Or Bike Parks?

  2. #2
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    Go west, my friend. There are loads of MTB friendly trails in the Mark Twain National Forest area.
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

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    Thanks!! I'll have to check it out, I was actually just there for kayaking last winter lol
    Just hoping for something a little more local to the Carbondale area

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    Did they close Shawnee to bikes?
    I did some riding down there back in the mid 90s (yeah I realize that is almost 20 years ago) and they had an active mtb community doing work there.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    Trails in Southern Illinois?

    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    Did they close Shawnee to bikes?
    I did some riding down there back in the mid 90s (yeah I realize that is almost 20 years ago) and they had an active mtb community doing work there.
    Oh I'm sure someone probably spooked a hiker or a horse and the bikes got banned at some point.
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

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    That's a shame.
    I wen't down there on a whim in early March of 1995 when my plans to go skiing in the Mich U.P. got nixed due to an unusually warm weather. I had seen the (then fairly new) Shawnee Mountain Bike Association mentioned in a magazine article, and headed down there with just the info in that article (things were rough before the internet). Fortunately there was a phone number of the founder of SMBA in the article because the Forest Service didn't have any trail info. I called it, and the guy was nice enough to meet me at his job and provide me with maps.

    Shawnee National Forest Mountain Biking Circa March 1995.
    Trails in Southern Illinois?-1995shawneenf.jpg
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    Ya I'm gonna head down to the local shops, once school starts back up, to ask about trails. I've looked at SMBA's site, it hasn't seemed to be updated in quite awhile. They do have several trails listed on there, but the maps are extremely vague.
    And yes, biking is prohibited in the Shawnee. I don't know when that went into effect but that's their current policy. LAME.

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    You may want to check out SMBAs forums. It looks like they are still active
    Shawnee Mountain Bike Association - Shawnee Mountain Bike Association
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    That funny, rode 30 plus miles this weekend in the Shawnee. and also the last 25 years. and a charter member of SMBA. yes it is ok to ride mtb in the Shawnee, except in wilderness and natural areas. still about 250-300 miles. hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnee 1 View Post
    That funny, rode 30 plus miles this weekend in the Shawnee. and also the last 25 years. and a charter member of SMBA. yes it is ok to ride mtb in the Shawnee, except in wilderness and natural areas. still about 250-300 miles. hope this helps.
    Are you saying there is misinformation on the internet? That's crazy.
    Good to hear they're still open. And if you are Jeff Jones or are in contact with him, tell him I greatly appreciate what he did for me 18 years ago in getting me those maps. I would never had found the trails without them (As I recall, I had a hard time finding them even with the maps).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  11. #11
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    Trails in Southern Illinois?

    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

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    trailville, no I am not Jeff J, but will relay thanks.
    dgw2jr, will try to explain,as best I can. not to good at explaining on line. Will do my best.
    1True, there is no designated bike trails only SNF ( I am glad, we want to ride it all ) not just 1 trail sys. We have mutil-use trails. ( hike, run, horse, mtb, ect. 2. True Traveling off road. Going to point a to point b ( bushwack ) not staying on trails, only hiker can do this. Natrual areas, the holy grail, hike only, Wilderness,hike, horse, camping. non-motorized areas. and we stay out of them. 3 True mtb only on roads. Go to topo or qua maps of SNF. And look at trails signs, # signs. exp #1234 it will says 4-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. You and I would call most of these ST. FS call roads. These statements FS can be misleading. And you could say, SMBA should try to get wording changed. And I would say let sleeping dog lie. IMBA and SMBA, have and do trails work in the Shawnee. Hope this helps. PS come and ride with us. I am a way better rider than writer, Pope Co boy.

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    Trails in Southern Illinois?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnee 1 View Post
    trailville, no I am not Jeff J, but will relay thanks.
    dgw2jr, will try to explain,as best I can. not to good at explaining on line. Will do my best.
    1True, there is no designated bike trails only SNF ( I am glad, we want to ride it all ) not just 1 trail sys. We have mutil-use trails. ( hike, run, horse, mtb, ect. 2. True Traveling off road. Going to point a to point b ( bushwack ) not staying on trails, only hiker can do this. Natrual areas, the holy grail, hike only, Wilderness,hike, horse, camping. non-motorized areas. and we stay out of them. 3 True mtb only on roads. Go to topo or qua maps of SNF. And look at trails signs, # signs. exp #1234 it will says 4-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. You and I would call most of these ST. FS call roads. These statements FS can be misleading. And you could say, SMBA should try to get wording changed. And I would say let sleeping dog lie. IMBA and SMBA, have and do trails work in the Shawnee. Hope this helps. PS come and ride with us. I am a way better rider than writer, Pope Co boy.
    We might come down next March depending on weather. We usually make a trip down to the Ozarks to MTB around that time for my birthday. Shawnee would be about the same drive time. Is the terrain similar to the Ozarks? How bad is the freeze/thaw?
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

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    djw2ji, weather is a year by year thing. Some mild some not. That is the reason for slow response, this year cold and wet. So 50/50 on march riding.
    As for terrain, i am not sure what part of the Ozarks you ride. We ride the Middle Fork and Berryman. Southern Il are the foothills of the Ozarks, so are ups and downs are not as big. Are biggest hills ( Williams Hill 1064') a few other in the 1000' range. Also you can watch SMBAtrails for ride info. Also you can PM for my cell#.
    Thanks Greg

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    That's a shame.
    I wen't down there on a whim in early March of 1995 when my plans to go skiing in the Mich U.P. got nixed due to an unusually warm weather. I had seen the (then fairly new) Shawnee Mountain Bike Association mentioned in a magazine article, and headed down there with just the info in that article (things were rough before the internet). Fortunately there was a phone number of the founder of SMBA in the article because the Forest Service didn't have any trail info. I called it, and the guy was nice enough to meet me at his job and provide me with maps.

    Shawnee National Forest Mountain Biking Circa March 1995.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In what part of the forest were you riding?
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

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