Ride 12: End of the I & M

  Biking Illinois: 60 Great Road Trips and Trail Rides  

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Utica, IL         August 28, 2005

This ride came in the middle of my last big day of Biking Illinois  cycling. I started early with the Channahon-Morris segment of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, moved on to this ride in the midday heat, and finished with the Salt Creek Trail as the sun went down. I had ridden this portion of the trail several times before, so I didn't have to do much exploring or research. I focused on noting mileage and taking pictures.

This former I& M Canal warehouse in Utica is now a museum.

Here's " the beginning of the end:"

This railroad bridge crosses the trail and the stagnant,  green canal.


There is a railroad tunnel on the other side of the canal.

I-39 crosses the Illinois River and the I& M Canal on the state's longest bridge. The supports next to the trail are dressed up with  a stone veneer.



The trail and the canal cross the Little Vermillion River Aqueduct.


Lock 14 has been restored.


Here are the remains of the last lock on the canal, Lock 15, along with the supports of what was probably a railroad bridge.

These tugboats serve the modern Illinois Waterway, which has replaced the I& M Canal.


The end of the trail is anti-climactic -- just a stop sign, a few squares of concrete, and a couple of benches.


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