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Hennepin Canal Visitor Center

For questions about the park, please refer to our Recreational Guide on the main Hennepin Canal page, find us on Facebook, or you can still call the park office at 815-454-2328.  Leave a message on the answering machine and the Site Superintendent will return your call when he is able.  

For watercraft registration, hunting permit, and other general IDNR questions, please call the main IDNR office in Springfield at 217-782-6302

Before exploring the wonders of the Hennepin Canal and trail, stop in at the Visitor Center near Sheffield. Several displays help illustrate the canal's past, including tools used to build and operate it.  In addition, there is a ten minute informative movie clip that is about how the Hennepin Canal began and its history. 

At the time the canal was built, workers often made their own tools by hand. There's also a model of a lock with a boat going through it, and a model of an aqueduct. Get a peek at the plant and animal life at the park through other displays at the center. 

The Visitor Center is located right along the towpath and you can see the canal from inside the center.  Just outside the center is a dock and a small lagoon that bypasses the canal and is used for Illinois' Catachable Trout Program.