Bike the Old Plank Trail—Matteson to Frankfort
Running between the suburbs of Chicago Heights and Joliet, the Old Plank Road Trail offers views of wetlands, oak and sugar maples, prairie grasses, and wildflowers that peek up through the underbrush.
The trail follows a Native American track around Lake Michigan that was later used by fur trappers and early settlers. Business interests later acquired the corridor for a plank road. Before they started laying lumber, however, they decided that a railroad was a better idea. The old Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) line fired up in the mid-1850s and ran through here between East Gary (now known as Lake Station), Indiana, and Joliet, Illinois, until the 1970s. Observers nicknamed it the Joliet Cut-Off because it enabled trains headed west to bypass Chicago. Remaining mileage markers still tell the distance to East Gary.
When the line went out of service, trail supporters realized that the railroad had unintentionally preserved swaths of natural prairie that had never been cultivated. That prairie growth survives along the trail in many places today.
The Frankfort Country Market is a "grower's only" market, featuring locally-grown produce, plants, baked goods, prepared food and gourmet products.
Where: Meet at the Matteson Metra Station Parking Lot 1
When: Sunday, August 30, 2020
Time: Meetup early enough to leave the lot promptly at 9AM.
Registration Closes: Friday, August 28, 2020
The number of participants is currently limited to 15 for this event..
Event Leader: Ed Hanlon Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell: 847-275-7452 Work: 847-916-2708