Lookin for Illinois begin / inter trails

Mar 28, 2001
Hi there DRN members,
I've been a guest for a while and now as a member I hope to extract even more expertise from you all. You have a great forum here.
I haven't rode a bike in about 25 years and my wife & 2 children started learning last fall. The best thing about quitting the nicotine habit was that I could afford a couple of bikes. We've been learning to ride on the cornfields & cow pastures surrounding our home. The kids now would like to do some trail riding. We're simple folk, our equipment consists of goggles, helmets, jeans and workboots. (If I had a drinking habit I would quit that so that I could afford some proper equipment)
We like to tent camp, so we could probably trip maybe 150-200 miles for a weekend ride.
We don't have the desire (ability) to race, just lookin for some good trails to experience.
Hope to see our first race this weekend out at Sunset Ridge here in Walnut, Il.

'94 xt350
(2)-'01 ttr125L
Mar 28, 2001
Hi Ken,
Yeah I've seen posts here about Buffalo Range. Is it "beginner" friendly? Any costs or requirements to be met? I've seen that some states require children to have safety certificates to ride certain trails. Can the kids go riding off on their own or does an adult need to ride along with?


Sponsoring Member
Jan 1, 2001
Buffalo has a wide range of riding terrain. There are trails, open fields, an mx track, a sand area, I didnt ride the trails, but I was told that a 60 mx bike would get stuck in some of the ruts. It was $20 for an adult, $10 for the kids, (I dont know till what age}. for more info you can call 815-433-2471

KX250 my toy
yz80 kids toy, kx60 other kids toy, jr50 other, other kids toy

[This message has been edited by WaltCMoto (edited 03-31-2001).]
Oct 7, 2000
Try Monroe WI. its called the cheese trail(I'll bet you could have guessed that)Anyway if you are just starting out this is a good place to take your family.It is an old railroad that the tracks were taken out.It is about 50mi long and very easy to ride. You have to buy a sticker at the local gas station, I think they are less than $10 and good for all year
Jan 17, 2001
Women and children at Buffalo Range are $10 a piece, Men are $20. Since a woman owns it, she gives the ladies a discount also.

The Badlands in Indiana are also a good place to ride with the family. Plenty of open space and lots of sand.

In addition, if you would like to camp and ride, you can go to Park Hills, Missouri. They have state park where you can camp and ride right from your camp site. And it is ridicoulously cheap! Something like $5 to camp and $2 to ride, if I remember correctly. We plan on going there this year a few times.

Good luck and have fun!

Mar 28, 2001
Thanks Anne. Those 2-5 dollar fees are a liitle easier on the wallet. So I checked out some previous posts about Park Hills and some other sites in MO. Two sites were &
Sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. Would there be any other trail sites similar to Park hills in our area (Northern Illinois).
Thanks to all for the help.

'94 xt350
(2)-'01 ttr125L


Mar 19, 2001
The club I belong to has about 30 acres that we lease and you can ride anytime and camp if you are a member. I know 30 acres is small but it is somewhere that is legal. We also put on a hare scramble, enduro, and offroad poker run. Please email for more info.
The club grounds is south of Byron, IL. Most of the club members are from Rockford.

You can also go to Motosports park in Byron. They have a motocross track and trails that you can ride, both are beginner friendly.
They have a web site Check them out, Aaron the owner is extremley nice.

2000 KTM 200EXC & 250EXC
Mar 27, 2001
The CIDRA motorcycle club is sponsoring 13 off-road poker runs this year. They are usually held somewhere between Peoria and Macomb. These are not races, you ride at your own pace and can ride all day long. I think the charge is $10, but you need to join AMA. If you are interested I can email you a schedule.

Unregistered meb

My six yeard old wants to ride

Hello! My six year old son has an obsession with motorcycles and he desperately wants to learn how to ride. He was watching the Disney Channel and saw a boy on their talking about Motocross and now is bugging me to learn. We live in Chicago and I can't find anywhere for him to learn. I am willing to travel in Illinois. Can anyone please give me some information?


May 17, 2000
The best motocross track in Illinois is in Walnut!!!!

Awesome track, perfect kids track, very safe. Even if MX is not your thing, you got to be so close you should check it out.

As far as Buffalo Range, my buddy started going with me and taking his kids. We have a hard time with them in the woods. but they dont ride very good and he got them the wrong kind of bikes to learn on so it has been slow going for them.

If you dont know exactly where to go, or if it is even slightly muddy Buffalo Range can be very tough. I have been there with some fairly new riders before and they hated it. But if your skill is fair it is the best place in Northern Illinois. I am talking about the woods here, they also have 4 tracks that range from beginner to adult only sand mx track.

There is a place called Fox Valley that is also in Ottawa, not as big, pretty hilly.

Another place just to the east of Ottawa called, The Cliffs. Been there once and it was my least favorite of the 3 in Ottawa.

Just keep doing searchs for articles here. There are tons of them already started on Illinois.

Have fun. Jeff


Moto Junkie
Apr 21, 2000
Wow - this post was brought back from a looong time ago.

To unregistered meb - first off, hopefully you'll register and have around DirtRider for a while. Lots of good stuff on here, and great people to meet and ride with too. But to answer your question - is probably the closest race track to Chicago and they have an excellent mini track for new riders (especially kids 4-8 years old). They race every other Saturday night from April-October, and they have practice almost every night of the week under the lights. That would be a great place to take your 6 year old son and see if it's something he would like to try. Depending on how agressive he is, a good first bike would be a Yamaha PW 50 or Honda XR 50 if he's a true beginner and might ride a little motocross and trails just for fun, or a smaller KTM 50 if he's a little more agressive and might get into racing.

Another site to check out for all of North-Central Illinois racing is

Here are a few photos of some little guys (and girls) from Joliet:

Top photo: from left to right on the bikes, Honda XR 50, Yamaha PW 50, KTM 50, and Suzuki JR 50

Bottom photo: Both on Yamaha PW 50's



places to ride

rockford illinois has opened a new riding facility with 120 acres of trails,advanced track,and beginner track with plans of adding an inter. track this spring,thats what the owner justed told me a couple mins. ago.I haven't rode here yet I just went by to check it out..rockyglenOHV
Aug 10, 2008
natedog28 said:
rockford illinois has opened a new riding facility with 120 acres of trails,advanced track,and beginner track with plans of adding an inter. track this spring,thats what the owner justed told me a couple mins. ago.I haven't rode here yet I just went by to check it out..rockyglenOHV