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I&M Canal

Average Rating:    (4.21 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 14

About 50+ miles of crushed limestone trail (Chanahon to LaSalle/Peru). Scenic wooded areas, aqueducts, river area, wildlife (wild flowers, herons, duck, deer, fox, fish, wild turkey, turtles, snakes, beaver, muskrats, etc.). Some single track off the path at McKinley Woods, Dresden Dam (goes to some ComEd service paths), Gebhard Woods, etc. down the line. However trail is mainly crushed limestone path. Excellent for a safe long rides.
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Latitude
41.41595533303718
Longitude
-88.22364807128906
Trail Directions
Take I-55 about 1-2 miles south of I-80, exit at Rt. 6, go west a few miles, follow sign to turn left before small bridge, about 2 blocks on right. Ample parking. Can also park in Joliet around I-80 and Houbolt, but not too scenic, or multiple locations along entire route.
Trail Length
50+ miles
Trail Level
Beginner
Trail Type
Unknown
City/County
Channahon
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
September 29, 2014

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: MishMashTraveler ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This trail is amazing. I wanted to knock this out some time this year but camping & karate made it difficult. However, the weather has been amazing here so I decided to do this 2 days before I left. Note I've taken other overnight bike trips so I already have a list & own backpacking gear so the planning wasn't as hard as figuring out how I would get picked up on a Monday.

I was dropped off with my bike & gear in LaSalle near rte 6 & Canal St. The trail is smooth with the exception of areas all along the trail that was repaired with rocky gravel. I had no issues losing the trail or not knowing where to go. From LaSalle to Morris, there are town often enough that it's easy to refill with water, find a place to eat, etc. Note that I planned on camping at Gebbhard Woods 9/28 and when I got there around 5 pm & the place as a ghost town. No rangers, no campers, no one. there was also apartment buildings and it was in an area with some houses up on the other side. I was alone (& female), I was getting eaten alive, there was no running water in the bathrooms to wash up & I felt that I was easy prey for young vandals. I decided to bike up to the Super 8 to spend the night (well worth the $60). So I got back on the I&M & bike east however 1/4 on the trail, the bridge was completely collapsed but there was a 24 -28 inch side wall that someone walking could probably risk walking on & stepping across to the other piece of broken cement. I decided not to b/c my bike was weighed down with gear. There is a section before Seneca that is very overgrown & a single path but the mile markers let you know you are still on target. so other than that, the trail was awesome, the people I encountered were nice - the Super 8 clerk gave me a charger to borrow to recharge my phone, restaurants gave me ice water or helped me fill my camelback. I highly recommend this trail.

Recommended Route:
stay on the trail with a small detour just east of Gebbhard woods - take the main roads into downtown Morris & then hop back on.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
n/a



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Review Date
August 5, 2012

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Mark ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I've ridden the entire trail and it is all currently open and in good shape.
The surface is crushed limestone. It is an easy flat trail. The eastern section has a few spots with amenties.The western section doesn't. The Illinois DNR has a detailed map of both the eastern and western sections. If you search for the I&M canal, you will easily find their site.



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Review Date
July 17, 2009

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: ehrenkd ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
My wife and I rode the trail from LaSalle to Ottawa and back to LaSalle. We were fortunate to run into some local people a few miles before Utica to let us know about a walk around from a washed out bridge where the sign says the path is closed. Apparently it has been washed out for a couple of years. After this there is a couple more places before Utica where you must cross some small streams of water with your bike in hand. The streams have "bridges" made of downed tree limbs with 1X4's nailed to them. There were also several water in the trail spots where it was muddy also. We've had lots of rain recently. This part of the trail wouldn't be much for a road bike or if you aren't able to carry your bike.



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Review Date
September 2, 2008

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: SAVE_IMP ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
The Governor of Illinois’s office recently announced that the State of Illinois will be closing the I&M and Hennepin Canal State Parks.
While it’s unclear whether the State will put “trail closed” signs up, there is no apparent money to maintain them and fallen trees, washouts, and other issues will undoubtedly happen.

Please help pass the words to help keep the trail open by contacting the governor’s office. 217-782-0244, 312-814-2121, or www.illinois.gov/helpdesk/contact.cfm and click on the “Governor’s on Line Contact Form”



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Review Date
August 20, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: kastigar ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I’ve ridden this trail many times, the full length. It’s a great trail.

Don’t let the crushed limestone discourage you. Alongside most of the trail there’s a parallel paved road. You can switch between path/road frequently, going back and forth as much as you want. There’s also many small towns along the route and plenty to do and explore.

You can also reach this trail by bike from the Chicago area – see a route at http://www.routeslip.com/map.php?map=4388 or else http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=369699.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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