The Great Outdoors Finale

At least for this month’s challenge — the Great Outdoors will always be something to be enjoyed

Raleigh takes a road trip to the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve north of Penfield, Illinois

Penfield is known nationally as the home of the home of Historic Farm Days

The forest preserve is north of Penfield and 20+ or so miles north (upstream) of Kickapoo State Park

That is where we are going

Not a great deal of mileage in the park, county/township roads provide far more riding if desired

This was the starting point for the River to Rails ride several years ago, and 15, 30, and 60 mile routes are still possible

After a hiatus due to covid, the ride is back on this year starting in Kennekuk County Park near Danville, Illinois

Ground level photos

Pond near the entrance

Second pond near the entrance

Fishing only, no swimming

Specks on the pavement is goose poo — it is everywhere around the ponds

Fishing Dock — poo free, but surrounding area isn’t!

Offending Geeses

Entrance to the campground

Main pond has been drained and dredged and lined with clay to prevent the leakage of the previous pond here

Camping area

Bathhouse and shower facilities for when the pond refills and swimming is once again allowed

Outside the main park CR3500 descends to the Middle Fork valley

Raleigh at the MIddle Fork

The Vermilion river is fed by three tributaries in this area

The North Fork, Middle Fork, and Salt Fork

Salt wells gave Danville it start as residents and travelers preserved food with salt

The salt water, (connate water) was boiled away in huge kettles

View south — the water will eventually flow through Kickapoo Park to the Vermilion River

Waterfowl Management area NW of the main park

Waterfowl viewing deck

The basin was constructed such that when the Middle Fork floods in the spring, the water is trapped, and provides a place for nesting waterfowl on the constructed islands

There are trails through the area, however, no one is allowed into the area during that time

key CTRL + and maybe you can read that — interesting info

Heron on Raleigh’s head badge waves at relative in the water

So that was pretty much it

Rode back to the Edge — climbing out of the Middle Fork valley wasn’t as bad as I feared  — selecting proper gearing is helpful!  Duh!   🙂

Only 7.5 miles, but very enjoyable and will be back to ride roads adjoining the park

And, Thank You Czar Gregory for so many challenge topics this month an octopus couldn’t shake that many sticks at!



6 response to "The Great Outdoors Finale"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: June 29, 2022

    You had a nice little tour for yourself Rich. thanks for sharing it with us. And welcome to ‘czarderdome’!

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 29, 2022

    Thank you and Thank you!
    It was a nice little tour, always wanted to cycle there, and today was the day, 🙂
    More a Serf than a Czar, 😉

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: June 29, 2022

    A nice place to visit, I’m sure you’ll be back, even when you are the Czar.

  4. By: gregblood Posted: June 30, 2022

    Despite all those topics, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to participate in my own challenge as much as I had planned, nor have I been as responsible as I should have been in regard to commenting on those of you who have been posting regularly.

    Besides being very busy this month, I also haven’t been getting e-mail notifications of new Cycle365 posts. I hate to lay my problems on a brand new Czar, but maybe you can do something about that.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 30, 2022

    Hi Greg,
    We understand, life gets in the way of the important stuff — I mean like the President of the Toronado Chapter of the Oldsmobile club skipped a National Meet because his daughter was getting married — go figure!! 😉
    Gonna do my best on the challenges!

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