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I & M Canal Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 4.5 (2)

Over sixty contiguous miles of crushed limestone goodness.


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Map Key

63.2

Miles

101.8

KM

Point to Point

533' 163 m

High

459' 140 m

Low

147' 45 m

Up

220' 67 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No motorized vehicles (Snowmobiles are allowed in the winter), No firearms, and no horses.

Aqueduct carrying trail and canal over the Nettle Creek in Morris at Gebhard Woods collapsed during a flood 3 years ago. You must follow city streets to Gebhard Woods to continue the trail west or east from that point.

Description

The Illinois and Michigan (I & M) Canal Trail runs along an old canal tow road that was built to pull barges along the I & M Canal. The canal was constructed from 1823 to 1848 and connected the Illinois River to Lake Michigan. Upon completion, cargo could move from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Michigan. The original tow road was 96 miles long there are currently 61.5 miles open to the public.

This doubletrack trail runs from Rockdale to Peru a majority of which is constructed of packed crushed limestone which very easy on the knees. There are many access points along the way in the many small towns along the trail. It is also connected to five state parks, Channahon State Park, Aux Sable access area, William G. Stratton State Park, Gebhard Wood State Park, and Buffalo Rock State Park.

Contacts

Shared By:

Luke Brisk

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#1

in Joliet

#6833

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Joliet

#96

in Illinois

#6,833

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1,225 Since Jul 25, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Old trestle going over the I & M Canal.
Jul 25, 2015 near Morris, IL
Section of trail in Morris.  Notice the footbridge connecting to the neighborhood on the other side of the canal.
Jul 25, 2015 near Morris, IL
Section of trail in the small town of Seneca.
Jul 25, 2015 near Seneca, IL

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Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jun 14, 2020
D S
Bridges on both sides of canal at Gebhard Woods SP are washed out or under construction. Detour goes thru Morris a neighborhood E and N of SP. 13.7mi — 5h 00m

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