The path, which was built for animals towing boats along the canal but never used this way, is level and easy. However, water is scarce along the way (found only at locks 21, 22 and the visitor center), so be sure to bring plenty, especially during hot days. The landscape varies from forest to grasslands to marsh to farmland, and the trail is particularly pleasing during fall, when the leaves are changing colors.

visit TrailLink for maps and trail information 

Three Different Trailheads Leading to Adventure

West Trailhead

East Moline

North Trailhead

Sterling / Rock Falls

East Trailhead

Bureau Junction