Channahon State Park Hike Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"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."