Are you on the hunt for your next long-distance ride? Consider the Great Lakes Circle Tour — or a portion of it — to experience beautiful, scenic views throughout the Great Lakes region. We recommend the Lake Michigan Circle Tour portion of the route, as it is entirely within the United States and exposes you to four great states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois.
As the tour passes through Illinois, it provides excellent views and attractions, including those within Chicago. Chicago Bears fans may enjoy a stop at Soldier Field.
Great Lakes Circle Tour: Lake Michigan Leg
The entire Great Lakes Circle Tour is approximately 6,500 miles long. That’s why most motorcyclists break it into shorter chunks, focusing on one Great Lake at a time.
The Lake Michigan portion of the tour is diverse, giving you access to attractions like Mackinac Island, Green Bay, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and more. The Lake Michigan leg of the tour is enjoyable for any long-distance rider.
This portion of the Great Lakes Circle Tour, known officially as the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, encompasses 1,092 miles around Lake Michigan. It’s the only Great Lakes Tour that stays within the U.S. for the entire route, as all of the other Great Lakes are partially located in Canada.
If you were to ride the entire Lake Michigan Circle Tour without stops, it would take roughly 14.5 hours. But you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to stop at attractions, take photos, stretch your legs, sleep, and take meal breaks. At a minimum, we recommend dedicating a weekend to the ride, though you won’t regret giving yourself five or six days.
Altogether, this route passes through:
- Northern, northwestern, and western Michigan
- Northeastern and southeastern Wisconsin
- Northern Illinois
- Northern Indiana
The route rolls along state highways throughout, providing a smooth riding experience.
Ride Through Northern Illinois on the Great Lakes Circle Tour
Here are some highlights along the Northern Illinois portion of the Great Lakes Circle Tour. This section follows Route 137 in Illinois before joining Lake Shore Drive, also known as US-41. It travels past several major attractions and landmarks, including the Chicagoland area.
Here are a few stops you’ll want to make along the Great Lakes Circle Tour in Illinois:
- Navy Pier: A 3,000-foot-long pier along Lake Michigan in Chicago filled with shops, entertainment options, and a giant Ferris wheel.
- Soldier Field: The NFL’s oldest and smallest football stadium, home to the Chicago Bears. This area also features a 17-acre park with a Children’s Garden, a Veteran’s Memorial, and other natural attractions.
- Calumet Park: This 181-acre park in Chicagoland’s Eastside community provides access to Lake Michigan and attractions such as the Lake Shore Model Railroad exhibit, two gymnasiums, and hobby studios.
- Lincoln Park Zoo: The fourth-oldest zoo in North America, with free daily admission. The zoo spans 35 acres and features gorillas, lions, meerkats, and a host of other exhibits.
While Illinois only makes up a portion of the Great Lakes Circle Tour, its attractions and landmarks pack a punch. You can easily dedicate a long weekend to riding along this portion of Lake Michigan, admiring the Chicago skyline, and stopping at the attractions along the way.
Law Tigers: Attorneys Who Ride
Law Tigers wish you a safe, enjoyable trip along the Great Lakes Circle Tour in Illinois. While an accident may not be on your agenda, if you find yourself the victim of a motorcycle crash, we can help. Contact us today at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule a free case evaluation.