Botanic Garden ride

The massive Botanic Garden in Glencoe is an easy 14 mile bike ride from Chicago.
Chicago to Glencoe bike route summary:
  1. Chicago Ave into Evanston passing Calvary.
  2. Crawl the lake using the paths and N.U.Campus and some Sheridan bits.
  3. Go west at Maple (past Central and lighthouse, before Baha'i) and cross the bridge.
  4. Work NW to Greenbay and the Metra line.
  5. Find and follow the Greenbay TRAIL (runs along east side of Metra) through Wilmette and Kenilworth and Winnetka to Glencoe.
  6. Go west on Lake Cook (County Line) Rd to the garden. Gloat past paying drivers to bike parking area near main building.

Biggest/bestest/beautiest part is "Green Bay TRAIL" (NOT Green Bay road) running next to (east of) the Metra line through Wilmette and Kenilworth and Winnetka to Glencoe, but with significant discontinuities.
Hardest part is Evanston, most safely traversed on lakefront paths and Sheridan, and through NU campus.

Round trip is under 30 miles; not extremely hard but not easy. Watch your load and gearing and water and pauses and clothing, or use train for part. At about 11mph takes just 1:15 each way (and burns >500kcal). Comparable time to car or rail but FREE!