Chicago shore line is perfect for biking

eBike Tours In Illinois (Vacation Locations)

Illinois makes one of the best places to visit for tourists. It has attractions to offer regardless of the season, so tour-goers can expect that they have excellent places to see no matter when they come to this state.

Even better, Illinois has tour operators that offer electric bike tours around the state’s best places. This state is the best place to visit if you love tours and biking.

My top 3 favorite places to take an eBike tour in Illinois are Chicago Lakefront, Springbrook Prairie Nature Preserve, and Galena.

Illinois indeed offers magnificent sights, be it city life or nature rides. If you plan to visit this state, below are some of the best places to explore in an electric bike tour.

My Favorite 7 eBike Tours In Illinois

1. Chicago Lakefront

Chicago lakefront trail is a perfect way to see the city
Chicago lakefront trail is a perfect way to see the city

There is no denying that using an electric bike is the best way to explore a place without breaking a sweat. For this reason, there is no better way to visit the breathtaking views and skyscrapers in Chicago Lakefront than through an e-bike tour.

When To Go

Chicago Lakefront has a busy city regardless of the time and season. While you can visit this attraction anytime you want, it is ideal to visit during the afternoon so you can witness the skyline’s sunset.

What To Bring

Tour operators usually include a rental electric bike and helmet in your tour purchase. So, you only need to bring the following:

  • snacks and water
  • biking gloves
  • comfortable biking clothes and shoes (preferably bright-colored clothes so you will remain visible to people and vehicles)

Costs

For $69.34, you can tour Chicago Lakefront for two and a half hours. The duration of the tour is enough for you to witness the beauty of the place and the great attractions it offers,

Tour Highlights

A Chicago Lakefront e-bike tour will take you to Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute Of Chicago, and the Museum Campus. You will have a chance to witness the beauty of these attractions without exerting a lot of effort in propelling your bike.

While all the areas you will visit have fantastic views, the tour’s main highlight will be the lakefront bike path near the Chicago River.

This 18-mile paved path is tourist-friendly and shows off the best of Chicago. In front of the trail is clear blue water and a view of city life. It also makes a great area for picture-taking. (source)

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2. Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve

A cloudy on the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve Trail
A cloudy on the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve Trail

Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve is home to Spring Brook, a nature and water preserve. The area is best for electric bike adventures. You will even see rare and migrant birds, thus making your tour a worthwhile experience.

When To Go

The best time to go on a Springbrook Prairie e-bike tour is from late April to mid-May. These are the best birding months in Springbrook as migratory birds are starting to arrive.

What To Bring

When visiting Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve, it is ideal to bring the following:

  • insect repellant
  • camera
  • comfortable biking shoes and clothes
  • sufficient water and snacks

Costs

Tour operators that offer an adventure to Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve do not have any tour costs mentioned on their website. But since the tour will last only an hour or two, it will be relatively inexpensive. The fee will also include a rental e-bike and a helmet that you can use.

Tour Highlights

An extensive grassland surrounds Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve, making it an excellent place for an e-bike tour. The view itself is fantastic, but the best experience you will have when visiting this trail is the chance to see beautiful migratory birds.

While biking on the preserve’s paved trail, chances are you will see sparrows, dickcissels, sedge wren, and many other bird species. (source)

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3. Galena River Trail

Galena Riverside Trail
Galena Riverside Trail

Galena is famous for its history and architecture. This charming town also boasts the finest wineries in the entire Midwest. For this reason, there is no better way to enjoy this city than to visit vineyards and wineries.

When To Go

You can enjoy the great wineries that Galena has to offer any time of the year. Galena has fantastic trails, which makes this town easy to explore. But if you are going to Galena for wine tasting, the best time to enjoy the finest wines is from May to November. However, we do not recommend drinking and driving your electric bike.

What To Bring

The best things to bring during an electric bike tour to Galena are:

  • biking helmet (if your tour host is not providing one)
  • comfortable, moisture-wicking sports clothes
  • gloves
  • snacks and water

Costs

A Galena electric bike tour costs $95. The fee includes the e-bike you will use and a complimentary glass of wine at one of the wineries in Galena.

Tour Highlights

Galena has a lot of views to offer. However, the highlight of your e-bike tour will be a trip going to Galena’s country roads down to The Galena Cellar’s Vineyard And Winery.

Awarded as one of the best wineries in Illinois, this vineyard and winery first opened in 1974 and stands proudly until now. Its owner, the Lawlors family, has been running the winery since then, allowing them to perfect the craft of making wine varieties.

During the tour, you will explore the winery’s vineyard, where they get the fresh grapes they use for their wines. You may even see some of the processes of wine-making. You can taste a glass of Cellar’s wine at the end of your vineyard tour. (source)

4. Ottawa

Ottawa trail system at Buffalo Rock State Park
Ottawa trail system at Buffalo Rock State Park – credit Google Maps

Ottawa is rich in parks, outdoor attractions, and bustling city life. It offers a lot of sights to see and things to do, making it a fantastic e-bike tour destination.

When To Go

The best times to visit Ottawa are between March and May. It is the time when the city becomes extra lively. Special events like the Tulip Festival also take place between these months. Still, you can visit Ottawa anytime, as it offers an experience of city life all year round.

What To Bring

You are in for city life when visiting Ottawa. For this reason, you need to bring:

  • sunscreen
  • snacks and water
  • moisture-wicking biking clothes
  • closed-toe shoes

You may also want to bring pocket money since you are touring a city filled with shops, boutiques, and eateries.

Costs

The leisurely city tour in Ottawa costs $47.95, depending on the electric bike you want to rent. The tour also has a tour guide who will tell you stories about the attractions you are visiting.

Moreover, some tour operators also offer regular bikes, so choose an e-bike option when booking a tour.

Tour Highlights

The highlight of an electric bike tour around Ottawa is a visit to its quiet backroads. You will stop by and pass through Parliament Hill, Rideau Falls, and Rideau Hall, allowing you to see the Ottawa attractions that walking and driving cannot reach.

The electric bike tour also travels at a relaxed pace, so your eyes will have enough time to appreciate the sights you will pass by. And since you are using an electric bike, you will only have to spend a bit of effort pedaling your bike, allowing you to focus on the sceneries you will pass by. (source)

5. Downtown Chicago

Skyscrapers, tall establishments, and long bridges are the structures that make up Downtown Chicago. Touring this location will make a fantastic Illinois vacation for people who love city life.

When To Go

Downtown Chicago remains busy at all times. So, you can visit the area any time you want, and you will experience all the things Downtown Chicago has to offer.

What To Bring

Since you are visiting a busy town, it is essential to bring the following:

  • sunscreen
  • water
  • snacks
  • pocket money
  • comfortable biking clothes
  • closed-toe shoes

Costs

An e-bike tour of Downtown Chicago costs $49.99. However, this fee only includes a regular bike. If you want to use a rental electric bike during the tour, you need to upgrade to an e-bike, which costs an additional $29.99.

Tour Highlights

Downtown Chicago’s e-bike tour tackles some of the city’s most beautiful and famous attractions. It will pass by some of the most outstanding sceneries, such as the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium.

But while Downtown Chicago mainly consists of skyscrapers and establishments, the best place the tour will visit is 12th Street Beach. Dubbed one of the best sandy swim spots in Chicago, this beach has the best skyline view in Chicago.

12th Street Beach is a small beach located in the museum area. Not only does it offer a great view, but it is also an excellent place for basking in the sun while riding your electric bike. If you are lucky enough, you may even see occasional concerts.

Even better, the beach remains clean no matter how many people visit the area. For this reason, it makes a great place for a leisurely e-bike tour. (source)

6. Knoch Knolls Park

Knoch Knolls Park is great for eBikes
Knoch Knolls Park is great for eBikes

There is no denying that Illinois is famous for its lively city life. But did you know that you can also go on an electric bike tour in Illinois’ gorgeous parks and nature centers? If not, it is time to visit Knoch Knolls Park for a relaxed-paced ride.

When To Go

Knoch Knolls Park is open for both locals and tourists all year round. For this reason, you can choose the best time to book an e-bike tour in this nature park. However, it is essential to note that Knoch Knolls Park becomes extra busy when the weather is warm and dry.

What To Bring

Tour hosts usually provide bike helmets when you book an electric bike tour. For this reason, you only need to bring:

  •  a camera (to capture the beautiful spots of the nature center)
  • insect repellant
  • biking gloves
  • snacks
  • water
  • proper biking attire and shoes.

Costs

When booking an e-bike tour, the rental fee for the e-bike already comes with the tour’s cost. However, some tour operators that offer e-bike tours do not include the tour fee in the details posted on their websites. In such cases, you have to call or email the tour operator on the contact details provided on their page to know the tour’s costs and the other fees you might need to pay when booking. (source)

Tour Highlights

One of the best parts of going on an e-bike tour at Knoch Knolls Park is exploring the DuPage River. This fascinating river is home to various wildlife on its shore and the water itself. The river’s east and west branches meet at Knoch Knolls Park, thus giving you a view of a unique water and land confluence.

Additionally, the DuPage River also has a bike trail along its shore. For this reason, exploring the river while biking your way to Knoch Knolls Park is relatively easy. Since nature and wildlife surround the area, it offers a relaxing place for tourists going on an e-bike tour. (source)

7. Ottawa’s Nature And Neighborhood

Ottawa is not only famous for the busy city life view that it offers. This city also hides rich nature and neighborhoods that you can best explore with an electric bike.

When To Go

Ottawa’s hidden gems are accessible any time of the year. Meaning you get to pick when you tour the area.

What To Bring

When touring nature, it is ideal always to have:

  • insect repellant
  • snacks and water
  • comfortable biking clothes that cover most of your skin (to prevent insects from biting you once you are in a nature-filled area)
  • closed-toe shoes

Costs

Touring the neighborhoods and backroads of Ottawa costs $75. This tour fee only includes a regular bike, so you have to pay an additional $30 to upgrade to an electric bike.

Tour Highlights

The highlight of this Ottawa tour is an adventure at Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers magnificent views and beautiful waterfront trails. Rideau Canal is also among North America’s oldest canals that still operate today. For this reason, it has a rich history of how Ottawa was in the olden days.

In the summer, boats, kayaks, and canoes fill the canal. On the other hand, it becomes the longest skating rink in the world in the winter. So, you can visit this heritage site anytime, and it will offer fascinating sceneries.

Suppose you like to try boating or to skate in this historic canal. In that case, going on a self-guided e-bike tour is ideal. This way, you can decide your stops and the trails you will follow.

There are also different establishments on both sides of Rideau Canal. For this reason, you have a perfect balance of scenery on the water and the land. (source)

Frequently Asked Questions About eBike Tours

What kind of eBikes are provided?

Most of the tour operators in Illinois provide tour goers with pedal-assisted electric bikes. The bike’s motor assists you in propelling the bike, so you only need to exert a bit of effort when pushing the pedals.

Pedal-assisted electric bikes also offer consistent and high power. For this reason, it is ideal for touring farther distances and the backroads of Illinois.

How long does an eBike tour take?

Most e-bike tours in Illinois last for about two and a half to three hours. These tours go across the most exciting places Illinois can offer. So, even when the tour’s duration is short, the places you will visit make it worth the ride.

Are eBike tours safe?

The e-bike tours offered in Illinois are completely safe. You will meet up with the other tour-goers in your tour operator’s location about an hour or less before the tour. There, your tour guide and the staff will teach you all the basic things you need to know about electric bikes. Helmet fitting and mandatory training also take place before the tour begins.

For this reason, you will leave the tour operator’s location with all the things you need to have and know about maneuvering an electric bike.


David Humphries Author at Ride e MTB

Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project – DIYMountainBike.com

Sources

  1. Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Things to do on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. https://www.choosechicago.com/articles/parks-outdoors/chicagos-lakefront-trail/. Accessed December 29, 2022.
  2. Pedego Electric Bikes. Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. https://pedegoelectricbikes.com/dealers/naperville/rentals-tours/ Accessed December 29, 2022.
  3. Nuts Outdoors. nutsoutdoors.com. Accessed December 29, 2022.
  4. Escape Tours And Rentals. Ottawa Express Bike Tour. https://escapebicycletours.ca/tours/scheduled-tours/ Accessed December 29, 2022.
  5. The Official Website Of Chicago Park District. 12th Street Beach. https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/12th-street-beach. Accessed December 29, 2022.
  6. Pedego Electric Bikes. Knoch Knolls Park. https://pedegoelectricbikes.com/dealers/naperville/rentals-tours/ Accessed December 29, 2022.
  7. Visit Naperville. Knoch Knolls Nature Center. https://www.visitnaperville.com/naperville-museums-and-tours/knoch-knolls-nature-center. Accessed December 29, 2022.
  8. Escape Tours And Rentals. Best of Ottawa Neighborhoods & Nature – 3 hours. https://escapebicycletours.ca/tours/scheduled-tours/ottawa-neighbourhoods-nature/ Accessed December 29, 2022.