Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Illinois & Michigan Canal

Although not nearly as famous as New York State's Erie Canal, the effect on Chicago from the building of the Illinois & Michigan Canal was as profound as the Erie Canal was on New York City.

The Erie connected the Great Lakes watershed to the Hudson River, and of course, ultimately, to the Atlantic. The I & M linked the South Branch of the Chicago River to the Illinois River, the waters of which eventually find their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

(I'm using past tense because there are some dry patches on the Illinois & Michigan, and I believe, on the Erie Canal as well.)

I took this photo from a bridge on Sunday in Lemont, Illinois.

Since the 1980s, a network of trails--built on the old mule tow-path of the I &M--have been constructed, making the canal a popular fitness destination for runners and cyclists. And nature lovers.

No comments: