Ride 25: Great Western Prairie Triangle
Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides
Villa Park, IL           July 22, 2005
Okay, so it isn't exactly a triangle because the west side is actually two trails. Thank you to my readers for politely  not pointing this out. The Illinois Prairie Path and the eastern segment of the Great Western Trail fit  together so well that this loop ride practically leapt off the map.
I had a bad day, photo-wise. I took hardly any pictures until  the end of my ride. I started out at the Villa Park Historical Society Museum, which used to be a Chicago, Aurora & Elgin  depot.
I didn't take any other pictures along the Illinois Prairie Path Main Stem until the end, which is just beyond this parking garage in Wheaton. The Aurora Branch goes across the street to the left, but this ride follows the  Elgin Branch  to the right.
Okay, I don't know what this thing at the Illinois Prairie Path  junction is, except that a plaque says it's from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin  Railroad. The beginning of the Elgin Branch trails off in the background.
Here's another Illinois Prairie Path  junction, this time with the Geneva Spur going left and the Timber Ridge Trail going right.
Kline Creek Farm is the only  notable point of interest on the short Timber Ridge Trail. If I hadn't been such a lame photographer that day, there would probably be some  pictures of the farm, not just the sign.
Here's yet another trail junction where the Timber Ridge Trail intersects with the Great Western Trail.
I suppose this is done for safety, but I really hate the major street crossings on the Great Western Trail. Bicyclists are forced to ride the sidewalk to the nearest traffic light, cross the street in the crosswalk, and then ride back to the trail on another sidewalk. I'd rather be allowed to take my chances going straight across. I hope they will erect bridges someday.
This is the Great Western Trail approaching Villa Park where the Ovaltine factory's prominent smokestack stood (it was torn down in 2008).
This trail map shows a  tricky jog in the Great Western Trail
This mural spells " VILLA PARK" and includes railroad, bicycle,  and Ovaltine imagery. Ovaltine sponsored the radio show " The Latest Adventures of Little Orphan Annie."
Here's the junction at the end of the ride in Villa Park. Turn right to go back to the Illinois Prairie Path.
This park area, now known as Dr. L.R. Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park, was once a Nike missile site. I visited another former Nike missile site  at Wolf Lake in 2000.
This building was erected in 1926.
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