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Illinois State Parks

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Chicagoland Region
Channahon Parkway State Park
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Channahon Parkway State Park © Tracy Barnett
Channahon Parkway State Park © John Zignich
Channahon Parkway State Park © John Zignich
Channahon Parkway State Park © John Zignich
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P.O. Box 54
Channahon, Illinois   60410

Phone: 815-467-4271
Channahon State Park is the official trailhead for the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail. Channahon is an Indian word meaning "the meeting of the waters" and signifies the joining of the DuPage, Des Plaines and Kankakee Rivers.

The Channahon Access first became a state park in 1932, known as the Channahon State Parkway. The canal officially closed in 1933 with the opening of the Illinois Waterway. The canal and its environs had been extremely neglected and were in desperate need of clean up and repairs. The Civilian Conservation Corps who were employed by the Department of the Interior were assigned clean-up and repair duty all along the canal. The C.C.C. restored Locks 6 & 7 in Channahon along with the locktender's house at Lock #6. In the park, they built a large shelter of handhewn beams and flagstone flooring that still stands as a testimony of the young men who constructed it.

An Interpreter is on site four days a week to provide information and answer questions. Public programs and tours are available as well as organized group and school group programs. For more information about Interpretive programs contact the Interpretive office at (815)467-4271.
Primitive tent camping only: gear must be walked to campsite, no vehicular access. Fire rings, picnic tables, and grills are located in the camping area. A drinking fountain and pit toilets are located within a short distance from the camping area. A camping permit must be obtained from the information center.
Canoeists can paddle 15 miles of the canal between Channahon and Morris. The beautiful scenery between these two points may only be outshadowed by the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Due to the fragility of the canal embankments, only electric trolling motors are allowed.
Anglers of all ages will enjoy fishing in either the Illinois & Michigan Canal or the DuPage River. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and bullhead are waiting patiently to test the skills of even the best angler. Grab a pole, your favorite bait, a sack lunch and relax along the waters edge for an afternoon of enjoyable fishing.

Mature oak, walnut, ash and cottonwood trees provide a cool shaded setting for a special gathering of friends and family. Grills and picnic tables are scattered throughout the park and along the waters edge. Ample room is available for volleyball, soccer, frisbee or a friendly game of baseball. A horshoe pit and playground equipment are located near the picnic area providing recreational opportunities for the younger children or just the young at heart. A large shelter with tables and grills is available on a first come first serve basis.
The Channahon State park is a great starting point for a day on the trail. Sixty-one miles of trail along the old canal towpath gives access to unparalleled scenic and historic sights. In the spring, wildlife and wildflowers are abundant along the trail. Great blue herons can be observed as they feed or nest near the park and along the canal banks.

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Area Campgrounds
Fossil Rock Recreation Area
24615 West Strip Mine Road
Wilmington, IL
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge, Cabins and Starved Rock Inn. The historic Lodge has 69 guest rooms, which include three bay-window rooms, plus cabins nestled in the woods. Fireplaces can be found in four of the eight sunset cabins near the pool area...
40.4 miles from park*
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Cottages and Cabins
Within a 10 minute drive from Starved Rock and even closer to Matthiessen State Parks you will find a gorgeous, tranquil property with spacious cabins on 50 wooded acres. All with full kitchens and outdoor fire pits. 3 dog friendly.
45.2 miles from park*
Nearby Hotels

From I-55: take the Rte. #6 Channahon exit. Turn west on Rte. #6 and continue into Channahon to Canal St. Take a left on Canal and proceed to Story St. Turn right on Story into the park. If the parking area is full, continue on Canal St. one more block to the Jessup St. parking area.

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Illinois State Parks