By foot, pedal or mule power, exploration awaits along historic Illinois canal

by foot pedal or mule power exploration awaits along historic illinois canal

Historians have to forgive those who have never heard of the once-bustling waterway. After all, much of the I&M has been dry for decades, and it hasn’t carried canal boats for more than 100 years. Yet in the 19th century, the hand-dug, 96-mile passage from Chicago to LaSalle was compared in importance to the Erie Canal, opening up a transportation corridor stretching from New York to New Orleans. Following the I&M’s opening in 1848, Chicago’s economy boomed.

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