The Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area is the first of its kind: a national park of communities, not federal land. Based around the I&M Canal, which connected the Illinois River to Lake Michigan creating an all-water, inland route from the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico, our National Heritage Area is made up of 60 cities and towns, from Chicago to LaSalle-Peru, who owe their growth to the canal.

Come Enjoy This Unique National Park

From re-enactments to Jr. Ranger Days to luncheons, there's always something fun and enlightening happening in our National Heritage Area. See our UPCOMING EVENTS.

Go back in time and take a trip on our mule-powered, 1840s-replica CANAL BOAT. Runs May through October. Tickets available now.

Bike the canal trail and neighboring towns with our easy-to-use BIKE SHARE. Find locations and details.

Learn about the fascinating people and CANAL STORIES of the I&MCNHA and their impact on the region, nation and world.