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      Best route from Chicago to Gunflint Trail?     
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Twins87
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06/11/2018 07:14AM
Friends are meeting us at a cabin on the Gunflint Trail later this month. They will be making the drive straight through from Chicago so stopping off at our house in the Twin Cities isn't in the plan this time.

I am guessing there is a quicker/straighter route from Chicago to Grand Marais than coming through the Twin Cities but I have no idea what to tell them.

Would be great if they can avoid some of the construction along the way by skipping the drive on 35 north from the Twin Cities.

Suggestions from Chicago area folks greatly appreciated!
 
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airmorse
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06/11/2018 07:44AM
I do this route every year.

94 to 894 thru MKE then 41/45 up to OSH then 10 to Stevens point 39 up to Wausau then 29 to Eau Claire then 53 north.

Or you could just Google it.
ozarkpaddler
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06/11/2018 10:30AM
airmorse: "I do this route every year.

94 to 894 thru MKE then 41/45 up to OSH then 10 to Stevens point 39 up to Wausau then 29 to Eau Claire then 53 north.

Or you could just Google it. "


Of course, we start much further south, but that would be our preferred route and we've tried them all heading out of Illinois over the years. We avoid the TC like the plague. Cross over to Duluth from Superior then cruise up 61 to Grand Marais. Every once in awhile we take the "Scenic Route" and take 51 up to Hwy 2 and across.
jcavenagh
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06/11/2018 10:47AM
We've always just gone up 90 to Rockford, then 94 to Eau Claire, then 53 to Duluth, then 61 to GM. Slow down for speed trap 10 miles either side of Black River Falls.

OR if they are in western bubrs: 88W to 39N to 94N to 53N to 61N
QuietWaters
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06/11/2018 10:52AM
If they will use I 90 from Chicago, they should be aware of construction from Beloit to Madison. Here's a link to info:
I 90/39 construction

and maps of alternate routes:

Alternate Routes I 90/39 Construction
treehorn
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06/11/2018 10:52AM
jcavenagh: "We've always just gone up 90 to Rockford, then 94 to Eau Claire, then 53 to Duluth, then 61 to GM. Slow down for speed trap 10 miles either side of Black River Falls.


This is what I do, from Chicago area.
06/11/2018 11:17AM
I'm in NE IL about 30 miles north of the city, and I take 94 to Eau Claire via Madison then follow 53 to Duluth. Once in MN it's a easy drive along the shore on 61.
06/11/2018 12:35PM
Once you cross the bridge into Duluth on 53, there is a short stretch of 35 that you travel on until it dead heads onto 61....just saying. The signage is clear and makes it simple
Twins87
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06/11/2018 01:06PM
Thanks all... I'll pass along the suggestions. They live on the northern edge of the city. They'll know which option suits them the best and once they cross in to MN it will be familiar territory for them. They usually stop in Twin Cities first and then head north after a few days. She's originally from here and they've been up to GM a lot.

They're taking their kids up to the Gunflint Trail for the first time and we're excited to take them daytripping in to the BW.
fadersup
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06/11/2018 01:44PM
In my experience 94 through MKE and then on to EauClaire to hit 53N is fastest.

90 through Rockford is a construction nightmare in the summer.
06/11/2018 04:13PM
fadersup: "In my experience 94 through MKE and then on to EauClaire to hit 53N is fastest.


90 through Rockford is a construction nightmare in the summer. "




What he said... Going through Milwaukee saves on tolls too. Most construction in Wisconsin is usually night time when delays are involved. Kind of boring driving til heading north out of Eau Clare.
bwcadan
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06/11/2018 04:57PM
If you end up having guests or are traveling through the TC, you will not have any travel issues on Sat. or Sunday. Barring traffic incidents or heavy weather.
jcavenagh
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06/11/2018 05:11PM
Yes. Leaving from north side/north burbs then 94 via MKE is probably best route.
I grew up in Oak Park, right by the IKE(290) so we went always out to Rockford then north. Later I used to live at junction of Kennedy/Edens so it was 50/50 going north, depended on construction...now I am far west burbs so I go out to 39 then north.
scramble4a5
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06/11/2018 05:25PM
jcavenagh: "We've always just gone up 90 to Rockford, then 94 to Eau Claire, then 53 to Duluth, then 61 to GM. Slow down for speed trap 10 miles either side of Black River Falls.

OR if they are in western bubrs: 88W to 39N to 94N to 53N to 61N"


That's how we go - the first way noted above.Leave from Glen Ellyn near 355 and North Ave.

Lots of construction on 90 between the border and Madison. Also 88 in Illinois is under construction from Aurora to 39. Tis the season.
mjmkjun
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06/11/2018 07:10PM
jcavenagh: "We've always just gone up 90 to Rockford, then 94 to Eau Claire, then 53 to Duluth, then 61 to GM. Slow down for speed trap 10 miles either side of Black River Falls.

OR if they are in western bubrs: 88W to 39N to 94N to 53N to 61N"


That's the route I use too, starting from Rockford, IL. I like 53 much better than I-35. There's plenty enough gas stations and also some nice stretches of open Wisconsin farmland. Less stressful than an interstate.
Chicago traffic. tsk, tsk, tsk. I surely don't miss it.

I have been oblivious of the speed traps at Black River Falls. Glad to know. Towing a camper must be the 'luck' that was in my corner.
billconner
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06/11/2018 08:28PM
Ive been going yo Madison on 90 and 39 to 94 and the ilinois section is fantastic after nany years of construction. I have not been for a month but up to then there was no vonstruction sliw zones in Wisconsin.
bfurlow
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06/11/2018 10:15PM
I usually take 88 west to 39N to 90/94N to 53N to 61. Probably some smaller highways that would work and be more interesting to drive on than those, but has been the fastest until now. Construction has been an issue in south WI last time I went to Dells but not sure what it is now.
yogi59weedr
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06/12/2018 04:40PM
Any route you take out of Chicago would be the best.??
Frankie_Paull
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06/13/2018 06:33AM
yogi59weedr: "Any route you take out of Chicago would be the best.??"Do you do stand up for a living or just open mics ?
06/13/2018 07:25AM
bfurlow: "I usually take 88 west to 39N to 90/94N to 53N to 61. Probably some smaller highways that would work and be more interesting to drive on than those, but has been the fastest until now. Construction has been an issue in south WI last time I went to Dells but not sure what it is now. "


We went last week. Hardly any construction from Madison to Superior. One stretch of one lane on 53 on north bound side was about it.
 
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