Ride 9: Deere Country

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides  

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Grand Detour, IL         August 19, 2005

This was one of the first rides I planned for the book, but it took a while to get around to riding it. My wife and I have stayed in Grand Detour several times at the Colonial Rose Inn, a bed & breakfast and restaurant that incidentally was rehabbed by one of my relatives in the 1970s. If you want to make a weekend of this ride plus Trail to Tampico and/or Amboy, the inn  would be a nice place to stay. Even if you do not stay in town, I recommend sticking around for dinner, which is served Wednesday through Saturday. You'll be pleasantly surprised by this fine restaurant practically in the middle of nowhere.

After my ride, I debated whether the start should be  in Grand Detour or Dixon. I decided to keep the start at the John Deere Historic Site in  Grand Detour, but you could easily park in Dixon and follow the route (although the mile markers in the book will be off, of course).

My pictures of the John Deere Historic Site didn't turn out, so the only photos I have are of Lowell Park, Lowell Parkway, and Dixon.

This turn after you enter the park is a bit confusing. The correct road is the middle one that veers right, not the one that turns more sharply right.

Although I didn't include the circular park road  in the ride, I went down to the riverfront to see this memorial to famous Dixon lifeguard Ronald Reagan.

 

Here is the Rock River at Lowell Park, looking upstream then downstream.

 

Lowell Parkway is a pleasant, shaded,  paved trail. Too bad it is only a few miles long.

 

Ronald Reagan's boyhood home is located at 9th & Hennepin, which reminds me of a Tom Waits song.

 

This is the Dixon Public Library.

Dixon is the official Petunia Capital of Illinois. Every year petunias are planted along major streets  in town.

 

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