Sunday, April 19, 2015

LeRoy Access

Saturday’s mission was to find the best way to walk from Downtown St. Charles to Ferson Creek in LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. I may be moving to the west side of St. Charles and I want to know my jogging options. From Randall Road to the beginning of the Great Western Trail there is a bike route designated on Dean Street; however, it’s a narrow road with a 45 mile per hour speed limit. Time to scout out some alternate routes!

I decide to scout it out in reverse and park my car at LeRoy Oakes. I walk downstream along the creek and head south under the bike path bridge.

I didn't get a good picture of this bike path bridge myself but I found this one. The bike path runs along the west side of Randall all the way from Silver Glen Road. From here, the path turns and continues into the forest preserve where it crosses an older horse trail. I continue south along the horse trail.

Logs are for sitting.

Soon the horse trail also turns west and at that turn there is a small trail that continues south and slightly east toward Randall Road. Eventually this path leads to a “Private Property” sign at the northern edge of the Oak Crest neighborhood. These folks value their privacy. The good news is that just before the unwelcoming sign is a break in the woods and an easy few steps to the stretch of grass along Randall Road. Another bonus is a wide cement drainage path that makes for easy strides.

There is a really great view from the street light at Randall Road/Red Haw Lane/Oak Crest Creek. Unfortunately, there is no pedestrian signal and after several minutes without any cars arriving to trigger the light I have to sprint across Randall. Sprinting is required for safety here because the curve of the hill makes it very difficult to see the traffic.

There are some great parks in this area with paths and sidewalks that lead all the way into town.

Another picture I didn't take of a bike path underpass under Randall Road. Its a nice piece of infrastructure but it is out of the way when walking between town and LeRoy Oakes. I cross back to the west side of Randall Road here and walk south to an old railroad grade. The tracks have been removed but I know they were there 10 years ago. Here is some information about the this old line. Here is another interesting link to how this line played into the bigger picture during the rail road glory days.

Looking east.

Looking west.

The Great Western Trail is built on this old railroad grade and begins not too far beyond the view of the above picture. Continuing the path along this grade all the way across town would be ideal. As I suspected, I am not the first person to think of this. This article from July 2010 is the most recent information I could find about plans for a new path.

Nice day for walk.


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I am a data analytics professional with a passion for data analytics, science and scientific skepticism.

This blog is about my adventures.