Channahon State Park Hike

Channahon, Illinois

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In the Potawatomi language Channahon means “meeting of the waters,” a perfect designation for this fluvial hike through history. Beginning at a rare, quaint locktender’s house preserved from the mid-nineteenth century, this 6.2-mile hike along the banks of the Illinois and Michigan Canal celebrates the region’s unique role in America’s early industries. Completed in 1848, this man-made channel connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, opening up the Midwest to the rest of the world and helping Chicago become the country’s transportation hub and a globally recognized center of commerce. Once railroads and a wider portage made the I&M Canal obsolete in the early twentieth century, most of it was closed, filled in, and converted into parkland by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, a 61-mile trail along the eastern banks is one of Illinois’ historical treasures, the most intriguing parts of which are featured on this shorter day hike.

Channahon State Park Hike Professional Review and Guide

"In the Potawatomi language Channahon means “meeting of the waters,” a perfect designation for this fluvial hike through history. Beginning at a rare, quaint locktender’s house preserved from the mid-nineteenth century, this 6.2-mile hike along the banks of the Illinois and Michigan Canal celebrates the region’s unique role in America’s early industries. Completed in 1848, this man-made channel connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, opening up the Midwest to the rest of the world and helping Chicago become the country’s transportation hub and a globally recognized center of commerce. Once railroads and a wider portage made the I&M Canal obsolete in the early twentieth century, most of it was closed, filled in, and converted into parkland by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, a 61-mile trail along the eastern banks is one of Illinois’ historical treasures, the most intriguing parts of which are featured on this shorter day hike."

Activity Type: Fishing, Hiking
Nearby City: Channahon
Distance: 6.2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Access: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Season & Limits: Year-round
Local Contacts: Channahon State Park
Local Maps: USGS: Channahon, IL
Driving Directions: Directions to Channahon State Park Hike

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May 2018