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Enjoy Illinois

Channahon State Park  

Northeast Region canal

P.O. Box 54
Channahon, IL 60410

Camping Fishing Slide Show
Canoeing I & M Canal State Trail Trails
Canal Locks Picnicking Visitor Information


Channahon 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 rivers.

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.

locktenders houseToday, 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.

shadded picnic areaCamping

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.

Trail Access

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 area.

  • While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
  • At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
  • Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
  • Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
  • We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.
  • For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.
  • Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
Office of Land Management
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
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