The trail begins in Rockdale and makes its way through Channahon, Morris, Seneca, Marseilles, Ottawa, and Utica before finishing in LaSalle. Steeped in historical significance, this 110-mile total out-and-back former towpath makes for a beautiful, relaxing ride along the I & M Canal. The trail surface is base gravel with limestone. Riders of all ages will enjoy the serenity of this out-and-back trail, disturbed only occasionally by a "plop" as one to the countless turtles sunning on logs dives into the water or by the occasional boat and barge traffic from either the Des Plaines River or the Illinois River.
Even though there is intermittent industry on the other side of the waterways, you'll be able to overlook that as you admire the variety of bird life along the canal. I've seen bluebirds, goldfinches, herons, kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets, and scarlet tanagers. It's a bird watcher's paradise. Also, of note is the view from Starved Rock- well worth the climb.
© Richard Ries & Dave Shepherd/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.