Cyclists Only Camping: Chester, Illinois

Aug 27, 2009

Chester, Illinois is not only the home of the legendary Popeye the Sailor, it is also houses a first class Cyclists Only Camping location run by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

It all began in the summer of 2008 when two cyclists passed through town on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. They lucked out and happened to encounter the Eagle's tiki bar and weekly volleyball game. The Eagles offer lunch, dinner, and spirits at the bar on a daily basis through the summer. The cyclists and the Eagles passed the evening together and, it "all snowballed from there" according to Andy Clarkson of the Eagles.

Before that summer's end, Andy contacted Carla in the Routes & Mapping department and their information was added to the TransAm #9 addenda. In addition to offering a piece of ground for cyclists to pitch their tents, laundry facilities, restrooms, and showers with towels and basic toiletries are also available. In the works is a building with bunk beds and air conditioning, as well as more showers and restrooms.

In 2009, the first Adventure Cycling supported TransAm group stayed with the Eagles. The leader, Andy MacIntyre, wrote in his leader notes, "Excellent place to camp!" High praise indeed for someone who's seen the gamut of camping spots across the country. The group's appearance in town even rated an article in the local paper, the Randolph County Herald Tribune.

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.

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