The route begins at Grant Park in downtown Chicago along Lake Michigan. You’ll be riding trails and city streets to make your way through the city and its suburbs. Due to high traffic levels and safety concerns, the route does not follow historic Route 66 leaving the city. The riding through Illinois is over flat to rolling terrain that originally supported the tall-grass prairie ecosystem. Central Illinois is characterized by small towns and mid-sized cities. The route crosses the Mississippi River into Missouri via the picturesque Chain of Rocks bridge which is closed to motorized traffic. The Riverfront Trail goes along the Mississippi River through an industrial area to reach downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch.
Response to above review from our Cartography department
Cyclosource on 5/18/15
There are several reasons why AC chose to avoid the Route 66 corridor from Chicago heading southwest, traffic concerns being primary. Several cyclists familiar with the Route 66 routing advised us not to enter/depart the Chicago metro area unless it was Sunday. Plus the bike paths offer an alternative that is more meandering but nonetheless gets you to your destination and provides some scenic riding, which you wouldn't get by staying to the original alignment by zigzagging through suburbs. Our routing was reviewed and approved by Ed Barsotti (League of Illinois Bicyclists director). LIB also offers routing if an alternative is desired: http://www.bikelib.org/maps-and-rides/route-guides/route-66-trail/
I'd give this map a zero if I could ...
M.R. Traska on 5/15/15
I'm sorry, but having looked over the Illinois map, I have to say I'm shocked and annoyed: the ACA map COMPLETELY *avoids* the route in a really obnoxious way between Jackson & Michigan in downtown Chicago and downtown Joliet. There are *much* better alternatives that going 33 miles out of your way to Lansing!!! That was just stupid. I'd encourage cyclists to use a different Route 66 bike map created by Illinois bicyclists; that one still doesn't hew to Route 66 as much as I'd like south of Joliet, but it comes a LOT closer to the route in metro Chicago than this one does, and with relatively safe routes through the city and suburbs. If you use ACA's map, you see **nothing** of Route 66 in the place where it began. That's just wrong and needlessly insulting. You FLUNKED, guys.