Chicago Skyline from the Bicycle Illinois Ending Location
HOME
BICYCLE ILLINOIS

Overall Information

Getting to the Start and from the End
Route
Daily Itineraries
Arrival in Cairo
Cairo to Carbondale
Carbondale to Centralia
Centralia to Effingham
Effingham to Champaign
Champaign to Kankakee
Kankakee to Chicago
Stopping Towns
Continuing on the Tri-State Tour Chicago Century Chicago Century #2
Registration
Prices and Deadlines
TRI-STATE TOUR CHICAGO CENTURY
RIDE ACROSS ILLINOIS (RAIL)
ILLINI WEEKEND GETAWAY
RAGBRAI® TRANSPORTATION
GRABAAWR
SAGBRAW
BIKE NORTHWOODS TOUR
WILL TO BEN
PARTNERS IN MISSION BIKE TO THE LAKE
MAJOR TAYLOR TRAILKEEPERS
BICYCLE ILLINOIS MERCHANDISE
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
GENERAL UPDATES
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
WEB SITE SEARCH

BICYCLE ILLINOIS
Cairo to Carbondale


Overall Route Description
The first riding day from Cairo to Carbondale is the hilliest and from our experience, generally the toughest especially for participants from the Chicago area because they aren't used to the hills. It is the most "intense" day - that is it has the highest gross grade (total climb per mile) of all our riding days. Luckily this day is also the shortest riding day and you will tackle it while your legs are still fresh at the start.

The first ride segment of the day will be from Cairo down to Fort Defiance Park at the southern tip of Illinois and the confluence of the two largest rivers in the United States, the Ohio and Mississippi. From the observation platform you can see the actual difference in colors of the river waters as the muddy water of the Mississippi River mixes with the clearer water of the Ohio River. Not only can you see these two major rivers at one time you can also see three states (Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri) and will be the southernmost person in Illinois! Make sure to baptize your wheels in both rivers!

After your trip to the southernmost point in Illinois you'll stop back at the main lodging site in Cairo for a quick rest stop. Then you'll travel north through sparsely populated, picturesque scenery and gently rolling hills.

Then who says there aren't any challenging hills in Illinois? After our first rest stop in Ullin, the route becomes very hilly as we pass through Anna and Cobden and the dense, lush forested areas of Shawnee National Forest. Just after Makanda, the route leads through the amazing sandstone rock boulders and bluffs and spectacular views of Giant City State Park.

Coming into to Giant City State Park you will have the option of cycling up one of the steepest hills in Illinois, affectionately known as "The Hill of Death." The hill is approximately 0.7 miles long, a 266 ft. gross climb, and a 25% maximum grade. The hill gets its name from the graveyard conveniently located at the top for cyclists who don't make it (just kidding about the cyclists, but there is a graveyard). This option is 1.6 miles longer than the less challenging route, and the century option does not depend on which option you choose. You will definitely want to highlight the routes into and out of Giant City on your cue sheets and maps because they overlap and doubleback and can be very confusing.

Century Option
The century option will originate from the main lodging site in Carbondale, and you can stop at the rest stop there to replenish yourself before riding the century option. The century option will take you back to the third rest stop in Giant City State Park, where you can stop for a second time that day. Then you'll recycle (pun intended) the route from Giant City State Park to the Carbondale main lodging site along the same route you rode earlier enjoying the fabulous views and picturesque scenery a second time around.


Satellite Imagery Overlay

  • Click Here for all rest stops overlaid on satellite imagery.

RIDE ITINERARY

Rest Stop 1 - Cairo Main Lodging Site
Cairo Junior/Senior High School
4201 Sycamore St.
Cairo, IL 62914
(618) 734-2187

Rest Stop 1 will close at 7:45 am.

8.5 mile loop from the main lodging site
10.3 mile loop from the supported hotel


Rest Stop 2
Ullin Ball Field
Ullin, IL

19.3 miles from rest stop 1

Rest Stop 2 will close at 10:00 am.


Rest Stop 3
Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds
521 N. Main St.
Jonesboro, IL 62952
(618) 833-8576

18.5 miles from rest stop 2

Rest Stop 3 will close at 12:00 pm.


Rest Stop 4
Giant City State Park
Makanda, IL

15.4 miles from rest stop 3 (less challenging route)
17.1 miles from rest stop 3 (harder route)

Rest Stop 4 will close at 5:30 pm.


End - Carbondale Main Lodging Site
Grand Avenue Christian Church
1305 E. Grand Ave.
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 457-4222

11.1 miles from rest stop 4



Route Profile Data

Each Ride Segment

Confluence
Loop
Cairo
to
Ullin
Ullin
to
Anna

Anna to Giant
City State Park

Giant City
State Park
to
Carbondale
Main
Lodging
Carbondale
Main
Lodging to
Giant City
Century
Option
Carbondale
Main
Lodging to
Carbondale
Hotel
Less
Challenging
Hill
of
Death
From
Cairo
Hotel
From
Main
Lodging
Distance (mi)

10.3

8.5
19.3
18.5
15.4
17.1
11.1
18.4
1.4
Elevation Profile
Starting Elevation (ft)
328
349
349
341
549
549
694
431
431
Ending Elevation (ft)
349
349
341
549
694
694
431
694
387
Highest Elevation (ft)
389
386
489
694
818
812
719
698
431
Lowest Elevation (ft)
303
294
322
341
491
459
399
391
356
Gross Climb (ft)
435
387
690
1323
1279
1469
685
1078
67
Gross Climb Profile
Net Climb (ft)
21
0
-8
208
145
145
-263
263
-44
Gross Grade
0.8
0.9
0.7
1.4
1.6
1.6
1.2
1.1
0.9
Net Grade
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.2
0.2
0.2
-0.4
0.3
-0.6

Ride Segment Summary

Unique Ride Segments
9
Total Possible Routes
16
Total Rest Stops
5
On Road Rest Stops
4
Rest Stops Ridden To
5

Every Potential Route

Departure from main lodging site:

Departure
Location

Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Daily
Option(s)
Less
Challenging
Less
Challenging
Hill of
Death
Hill of
Death
Less
Challenging
Less
Challenging
Hill of
Death
Hill of
Death
Arrival
Location
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Century
Option
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Rest Stops
5
7
5
7
5
7
5
7
Total
Distance (mi)
72.8
102.3
74.5
104.0
74.2
103.7
75.9
105.4
Elevation
Profile
Starting
Elevation (ft)
349
349
349
349
349
349
349
349
Ending
Elevation (ft)
431
431
431
431
387
387
387
387
Highest
Elevation (ft)
818
818
812
812
818
818
812
812
Lowest
Elevation (ft)
294
294
294
294
294
294
294
294
Gross
Climb (ft)
4364
6127
4554
6317
4431
6194
4621
6384
Gross Climb
Profile
Net Climb (ft)
82
82
82
82
38
38
38
38
Longest Ride
Segment
Distance (mi)
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
Shortest Ride
Segment
Distance (mi)
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.5
Average
Distance
Between Rest
Stops (mi)
18.2
17.1
18.6
17.3
18.2
17.1
18.6
17.3
Longest Ride
Segment
Gross
Climb (ft)
1323
1323
1469
1469
1323
1323
1469
1469
Shortest Ride
Segment
Gross
Climb (ft)
387
387
387
387
387
387
387
387
Average
Gross Climb
Between Rest
Stops (ft)
1091
1021
1139
1053
1091
1021
1139
1053
Gross Grade
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.1
Net Grade
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Departure from supported hotel:

Departure
Location

Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Daily
Option(s)
Less
Challenging
Less
Challenging
Hill of
Death
Hill of
Death
Less
Challenging
Less
Challenging
Hill of
Death
Hill of
Death
Arrival
Location
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Main
Lodging
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Supported
Hotel
Century
Option
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Rest Stops
5
7
5
7
5
7
5
7
Total
Distance (mi)
74.6
104.1
76.3
105.8
76.0
105.5
77.7
107.2
Elevation
Profile
Starting
Elevation (ft)
328
328
328
328
328
328
328
328
Ending
Elevation (ft)
431
431
431
431
387
387
387
387
Highest
Elevation (ft)
818
818
812
812
818
818
812
812
Lowest
Elevation (ft)
303
303
303
303
303
303
303
303
Gross
Climb (ft)
4412
6175
4602
6365
4479
6242
4669
6432
Gross Climb
Profile
Net Climb (ft)
103
103
103
103
59
59
59
59
Longest Ride
Segment
Distance (mi)
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
19.3
Shortest Ride
Segment
Distance (mi)
10.3
10.3
10.3
10.3
10.3
10.3
10.3
10.3
Average
Distance
Between Rest
Stops (mi)
18.7
17.4
19.1
17.6
18.7
17.4
19.1
17.6
Longest Ride
Segment
Gross
Climb (ft)
1323
1323
1469
1469
1323
1323
1469
1469
Shortest Ride
Segment
Gross
Climb (ft)
435
435
435
435
435
435
435
435
Average
Gross Climb
Between Rest
Stops (ft)
1103
1029
1151
1061
1103
1029
1151
1061
Gross Grade
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
Net Grade
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

P.O. Box 8454 • Chicago, IL 60680 • (877) TOUR-ILL [868-7455]
Copyright© Bicycle Illinois

E-Mail UsJoin Our Mailing List