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Hibonite 05-29-13 05:24 PM

Hennepin-I&M Canals and Plank Road Trails Tour
I would like to take a 2-day tour of this route but have found a lot of conflicting information online. Could someone tell me what the surface is like on the two canal trails and how it compares with other trails such as the Katy, GAP, or C&O? How much is shaded in June? Also, are there any closures other than the western-most section of the Hennepin? What bridge is recommended across the river in Joliet? Finally, I'm thinking of camping at Illini State Park. Are the better options on that part of the trail? Thanks!

BikingGrad80 06-17-13 10:03 AM

It has been a few years since I did I&M Canal but here is what I remember. The surface is crushed limestone. I did ok with my Trek 520 with smooth 32's but I felt something more cylcocross would work better (with some tread). I believe I heard there are some clossures in the I&M canal due to the May 1st flood this year washing away the trail. I'm sure there are alternates to get arround the closed portions as this is away from the Chicago area there are tons of semirural roads in that area. I've never done Hennepin.

BTW bring lots of deet products as there are tons of mosquitos and ticks in the forrests along that trail.

Randy Bosma 06-17-13 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by Hibonite (Post 15681959)
... What bridge is recommended across the river in Joliet? ... Thanks!

Here is my suggestion to get you from the eastern end of the I&M Canal Trail at Brandon Road to the west end of the Old Plank Trail on Washington Street near Logan Street:
Enjoy the ride!

GITride 09-06-13 06:59 PM

Hi Hibonite,

Sorry I didn't see your message till now, but I live very near the I&M trail. Most of it is crushed limestone, leading into the Hennepin you will hit some ballast rock that can be avoided by riding Rt 6 to the Hennepin Canal trails.

GPS maps are at the site.

When you cross in Joliet, I prefer to take an alternate route south on Rowell Ave on to the Wauponse trail then west through Sugar Creek and ultimately down Brandon Road. You avoid all that high traffic steep climbing bridges (eastbound)

When going westbound, if you hit the traffic lights right, you can take Jefferson and fly through downtown Joilet in about 30 seconds.

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