State Park is the official trailhead for the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail. Channahon
is an Indian word meaning "the meeting of the waters" and
signifies the joining of the DuPage, Des Plaines and Kankakee
The Channahon Access became a
state park in 1932, known as the Channahon State Parkway. The canal
officially closed in 1933 with the opening of the Illinois Waterway.
The canal and its environs had been extremely neglected and were
in desperate need of clean up and repairs. The Civilian
Conservation Corps who were employed by the Department of the
Interior were assigned clean-up and repair duty along the canal.
The C.C.C. restored Locks 6 & 7 in Channahon along with the locktender's
house at Lock 6. In the park, they built a large shelter of handhewn
beams and flagstone flooring that stands today as a testimony of
the young men who constructed it.
An Interpreter is on site four days
a week to provide information and answer questions. Public programs
and tours are available as well as organized group and school group
programs. For more information about Interpretive programs contact
the Interpretive office at (815) 467-4271.
Today, Channahon State Park
is under the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
and provides park visitors a look back at a historic waterway that transformed
a state. Locks 6 & 7 and the original locktenders house at Lock
6 located at the Channahon State Park enable visitors to daydream
of a time when one of the loudest noises heard came from a blacksmith
pounding out a new set of horse shoes.
Mature oak, walnut, ash and cottonwood
trees provide a cool, shaded setting for a special gathering of friends
and family. Grills and picnic tables are scattered throughout the
park and along the waters edge. Ample room is available for volleyball,
soccer, frisbee or a friendly game of baseball. A horshoe pit and
playground equipment are located near the picnic area providing
recreational opportunities for the younger children or just the
young- hearted. A large shelter with tables and grills is available
on a first-come first-serve basis.
Only primitive tent camping is available and gear must
be walked to campsite. Fire rings, picnic tables,
and grills are located in the camping area. A drinking fountain
and pit toilets are located within a short distance from the camping
area. A camping permit must be obtained from the information center.
Anglers of all ages will enjoy fishing
in either the Illinois & Michigan Canal or the DuPage River. Bass,
crappie, bluegill, catfish and bullhead will
test the skills of even the best angler. Grab a pole, your favorite
bait, a sack lunch and relax along the waters edge for an afternoon
of enjoyable fishing.
Channahon State Park is a great
starting point for a day bicycling or hiking on the trail. Sixty-one miles of trail
along the old canal towpath gives access to unparalleled scenic
and historic sights. In the spring, wildlife and wildflowers are
abundant along the trail. Great blue heronsand waterfowl can be observed
feeding or nesting near the park and along the canal banks.
Canoeists can paddle 15 miles of the
canal between Channahon and Morris. The beautiful scenery between
these two points may only be outshadowed by the abundance of wildlife
viewing opportunities. Due to the fragile nature of the canal embankments,
only electric trolling motors are allowed.
From I-55: take the Rte. #6 Channahon
exit. Turn west on Rte. #6 and continue into Channahon to
Canal St. Take a left on Canal and proceed to Story St. Turn
right on Story into the park. If the parking area is full,
continue on Canal St. one more block to the Jessup St. parking