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Hennepin Canal Parkway

The Hennepin Canal National Recreation Trail provides many miles of trail recreation for biking, hiking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, and paddling along a historic canal corridor.


Length: 172.50 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Rail Trail
Agency: State
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Bicycling (off pavement)
Equestrian - Riding
Motorized vehicles - Snowmobiling
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Cross-country Skiing

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Location: The Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park is a 104.5 mile linear park spanning five Illinois Counties (Bureau, Henry, Lee, Rock Island, and Whiteside)
State(s): Illinois
Counties: Bureau, Henry & Whiteside
Longitude: -89.7847
Latitude: 41.40816

Driving Directions

Driving directions are not available for this trail. Can you provide this missing data?


The Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park is a 104.5 mile linear park spanning five Illinois Counties (Bureau, Henry, Lee, Rock Island, and Whiteside). Construction of the Canal got under way in 1892 and the first boat went through in 1907, reducing the distance from Chicago to Rock Island by 419 miles. The Hennepin was the first American canal built of concrete without stone cut facings. The Hennepin Canal, which at one time was known as the Illinois and Mississippi Canal, was open to boat traffic until 1951. The Hennepin Canal provides a wide variety of recreational activities including fishing, boating, picnicking, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and snowmobiling.

The Hennepin Canal is also steeped in history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. History, Natural Beauty, and Recreation makes the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park an important resource for all the communities along its banks.

Additional Details

Width: 120 inches.
Primary Surface: Grass or vegetation
Secondary Surface: Grass or Vegetation

Average Grade: 1%
Maximum Grade: 8%
Elevation Low Point: 450
Elevation High Point: 646
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Rails-to-Trails
Website: Friends of the Hennepin Canal
Website: American Trails Featured NRT

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Park Ranger:
Steve Moser
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
16006-875 E. St.
Sheffield, IL 61361
(815) 454-2328
[email protected]



Along the trail.

Along the trail.


Boaters on the Hennepin Canal. Photo by Ed Herrmann.

Boaters on the Hennepin Canal. Photo by Ed Herrmann.


Multi-use Opportunities

There are many options for recreation on this trail. Biking, walking, and kayaking each give you a different experience of the canal and its unique history and environment. You can spend anywhere from an hour to a whole day enjoying the resources. This trail is great in any season to get out and enjoy the area!

August 16, 2018



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