Channahon State Park is the official trailhead for the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail. Channahon is an Indian word meaning "the meeting of the waters" and signifies the joining of the DuPage, Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers.
Today, Channahon State Park is under the management of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and provides park visitors a look back at a historic waterway that transformed a state. Locks 6 & 7 and the original locktenders house at Lock 6 located at the Channahon State Park enable visitors to daydream of a time when one of the loudest noises heard came from a blacksmith pounding out a new set of horse shoes.
Only primitive tent camping is available and gear must be walked to the campsite. Fire rings, picnic tables, and grills are located in the camping area. A drinking fountain and pit toilets are located within a short distance from the camping area. A camping permit must be obtained from the information center.
Canoeists can paddle 15 miles of the canal between Channahon and Morris. The beautiful scenery between these two points may only be out shadowed by the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Due to the fragile nature of the canal embankments, only electric trolling motors are allowed.
Anglers of all ages will enjoy fishing in either the Illinois & Michigan Canal or the DuPage River. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and bullhead will test the skills of even the best angler. Grab a pole, your favorite bait, a sack lunch and relax along the water’s edge for an afternoon of enjoyable fishing.
Mature oak, walnut, ash and cottonwood trees provide a cool, shaded setting for a special gathering of friends and family. Grills and picnic tables are scattered throughout the park and along the water’s edge. Ample room is available for volleyball, soccer, Frisbee or a friendly game of baseball. Horseshoe pit and playground equipment are located near the picnic area providing recreational opportunities for the younger children or just the young-hearted. A large shelter with tables and grills is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Channahon State Park is a great starting point for a day bicycling or hiking on the I & M Canal Trail. Sixty-one miles of trail along the old canal towpath gives access to unparalleled scenic and historic sights. In the spring, wildlife and wildflowers are abundant along the trail. Great blue herons and waterfowl can be observed feeding or nesting near the park and along the canal banks.