I & M Canal Mule-Pulled Boat Rides

The 2022 I&M Canal Boat season starts May 21st and ends October 30th.

Visit the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area and take a journey back in time aboard the “Volunteer,” a mule-pulled 1840’s replica canal boat, as it coasts gently up and down the Illinois & Michigan Canal.


Families of all ages, historians, photographers, and nature lovers will love this historic journey into Illinois’ scenic past! In 1848, Illinois was a very different place. Prairies covered much of the state, settlers used wagons, stagecoaches, and boats for transportation and to ship goods, and LaSalle, Illinois was bigger than Chicago! In this era, the I&M Canal was a vital link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.


Each tour is an hour long, beginning with a 15-minute “Mule Tending 101” presentation, as our period-dressed guides introduce the passengers to the intrepid canal mule, Moe. The tour regales everyone with tales of the canal while the deck hand, mule tender, boat captain guide the boat one mile up the canal to the Little Vermillion aqueduct and then back to the dock. 


Looking to extend your trip? After your ride, visit the I&M Canal Visitor Center, located inside the Lock 16 Cafe. Rent a bike there and tour the I&M Canal State Trail to Utica. Then be sure to check out downtown LaSalle’s shops, restaurants, antiques, and the beautiful Hegeler Carus Mansion. Don’t miss the vintage market, Canal Cargo, across the street from Lock 16!


General Admission

  • Adults: $20.00
  • Seniors (62 & over): $17.00
  • Children (4-16): $9.00
  • Children under 3: Free
  • Family Pack (2 Adults & 2 Children): $49.00

For more information about group rates, school field trips & special boat rides call (815)223-1851.