Saturday, December 06, 2014

I&M Canal NHC at 30: Conclusion, the canal meets the river

A quick summary of the story so far. In early October I drove, mostly on US Route 6, through the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Corridor from Channahon near Joliet to Peru in LaSalle County. I visited the canal with Little Marathon Pundit on August 24, 2014--the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan signing the legislation creating America's first National Heritage Area.

The concept is so Reagan-esque. With the National Park Service serving only in an advisory role, National Heritage Areas are locally-run and locally-funded operations.

Although the canal ends--if you include the wider steamboat basin which we'll see next--where the I&M empties into the Illinois River. But because the final lock is in LaSalle, the money ended up there when the canal was in operation.

Rather than traffic coming from the canal, the steamboat basin serves as a port for barges that arrive from the Illinois River. But the abandoned barge in this photograph isn't going anywhere.

The I&M Canal State Trail is a little rougher in Peru--most of the trail is composed of crushed gravel--perhaps flooding from the river pulled the gravel away.

Near the terminus of the canal is Huse Lake.

More canal wreckage. To be fair, most of the basin is free of debris.

All good things must come to an end.

There is a little plaza and a couple benches at the end of the trail.

The official trail ends, but the path begins. On to the river!

Forests that are frequently submerged in water often look like this one.

I've yet to identify these striking black, white, and brown mushrooms.

The canal meets the river. In the background is the Illinois Route 251 bridge. While the Illinois River generally flows southwesterly, where the canal meets the Illinois the river heads north.

This entry concludes my series. Thanks for reading!

Earlier I&M Canal NHC at 30: posts:

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