Saturday, August 22, 2009

I&M Canal Trail State Trail

Tried my luck on the I&M Canal State Trail today. Started at the trailhead in Channahon State Park.

<-- Lock No. 6

The bike trail is built on the old towpath, where mules pulled the barges along more than 150 years ago. The state park is home to lock #6, built in 1848 to acccomodate towboats plying the canal.

Headed off in exactly the wrong direction, thanks to some cartography-class dropout. Hey, Amerigo Vespucci, north is generally UP and west is ON THE LEFT!

Realized I was going the wrong way about two miles down the trail. Decided to keep going anyway.

It's a gorgeous trail, paralleling the Aux Sable Creek and the I&M Canal. There were egrets and herons looking for fish, and turtles sunning themselves on fallen tree branches and rocks. I may bring a fishing rod next time; some of that water looked very fishy to me.

The day was breezy and unusually cool for mid-August - just 70 degrees. It was downright chilly in the shaded stretches, and just barely comfortable in the sun.

The trail ended after about 9.5 miles just at the Joliet city limits, so I turned around and headed back. Next time, I'll try the other way, toward the west.

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