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

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

There's always something fun to do in our National Heritage Area, such as JR Ranger Days. See our UPCOMING EVENTS.

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.