Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Utility Links

​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Breadcrumb

  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Parks
  3. Picnicking

Trails at Hennepin Canal

The Hennepin Canal is shaped like an upside down “T” and offers over 100 miles of scenic towpaths that abut the entire length of the waterway. The “mainline canal” is the base of the upside down T and the “feeder canal” is the stem that flows down from Rock Falls, IL. 

Towpath is located on both sides of the majority of both the mainline canal and the feeder canal. There are two types of paved surfaces along the canal: gravel/aggregate lime or oil & chip. Portions of the trail must be shared by hikers, cyclists, and equestrians where towpath is located on only one side of the canal around the aqueducts. The table below shows the mainline canal’s towpath surface type for those who want to plan what type of surface they run or bike on.  

The opposite side of the paved surface side is a grass trail for equestrian use. The grassy side can also be used by cyclists and hikers, but equestrians have the right-of-way.

The feeder canal is gravel from Bridge 46 to Bridge 56. The rest of the feeder canal is gravel.  

Parking lots are located all along the canal, where you can park and ride or hike the trails.  Check under the Activities tab, under Parking, for a list of parking lots. 

Mainline canal towpath

Side of Canal

Surface Type

Lock 2 to Lock 12

South side

oil & chip

Lock 12 to Bridge 15

South side (shared)

gravel

Bridge 15 to Lock 22

North side

Oil & chip

Lock 22 to Bridge 20

North side (shared)

Gravel

Bridge 20 to Bridge 23

North side

Oil & chip

Bridge 23 to Bridge 24

North side (shared)

Gravel

Bridge 24 to Bridge 32

North side

Oil & chip

Bridge 32 to Bridge 33

North side (shared)

Gravel

Bridge 33 to Bridge 39

North side

Oil & chip

Bridge 39 to Lock 25

South side

Oil & chip

Lock 25 to Bridge 40A

South side

Gravel

Bridge 40A to Bridge 40

South side

Oil & chip

Bridge 40 to Lock 29

North side

Oil & chip


​​