The Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail follows the eponymous waterway alongside the Illinois River. It traverses the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, designated in 1984 and the first National Heritage Area in the U.S. The pathway runs along the old canal towpath from LaSalle to the historical quarry town of Lemont, with a gap in Joliet and a heavily industrial spur through Romeoville. Nearly every mile, you’ll find educational markers, so you can learn about the history of the canal and the stories of those who built and traveled the waterway.
Water Glen Forest Preserve
The 2,503-acre Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien is one of the most ecologically impressive parcels of open space in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, if not northern Illinois. It is also one of the District’s most popular forest preserves, known for its Rocky Glen waterfall, Sawmill Creek bluff overlook, and extensive trails.
Waterfall Glen offers gently rolling to hilly terrain with 11 miles of trails popular with hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. It also offers fishing and an orienteering course, model airplane field and youth group campground.
Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park is a wilderness area on the Illinois River in the U.S. state of Illinois. It’s known for its steep sandstone canyons formed by glacial meltwater. Several, including the St. Louis, French and Wildcat canyons, have waterfalls. A wooded trail leads to Lover’s Leap Overlook, with views of the river and Starved Rock Dam. Park wildlife includes white-tailed deer, bald eagles and migratory birds.