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The John Husar I&M Canal Trail is the northernmost trail developed on the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor. The Illinois & Michigan Canal provided the final link in the water route from the east coast to the Gulf of Mexico by connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River via the Illinois River in the 1800s.
The paved trail runs through preserved forest on the southern bank of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which replaced the older canal in 1900. At State Route 83, trail users can connect directly to the Centennial Trail. That trail continues farther south to Romeoville using the opposite side of the canal, where it links with the northern portion of the nearly 70-mile Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail.
Parking for the John Husar I&M Canal Trail can be found in a dedicated lot below Willow Springs Road in Willow Springs.
We have been riding this trail every weekend for 10+ years. However, we took our first ride of the year for 2019 yesterday, and the trail is in bad shape. With the bridge out, there is no way to get on the Centennial Trail from Willow Springs. Is there a plan to repave the trail anytime soon?
I had to check out this trail since it was named after a great man, John Husar. He was a champion of all things wild and wonderful, and wrote about conservation for The Chicago Tribune. We enjoyed the trail immensely and will definitely be back on a regular basis.
CCFPD has decided not to repave or otherwise improve the trail.
A once great trail continues to deteriorate
The trail will be repaved and 'improved' starting in the spring of 2016. It wil be closed during this process with no formal start or end date set yet.
It took years of complaints from users over the condition (worn out) of the trail to FINALLY get some action.
When done it will be a great trail once again and it still is a pretty good one. Now if the railroad fixes the crossing.... HAH! Fooled ya, its a railroad.
Using GPS, use the address 501 Willow Blvd, Willow Springs, IL. Otherwise, head east from the intersection of Archer Ave. and Willow Springs Rd, turn left onto Willow Blvd. ( it's only a block or two) and follow it down and around where its heading west. After passing under Willow Springs Rd., turn right to find the parking lot and trail head. A nice, flat, scenic ride suitable for casual riders.
Very difficult to find. If you have GPS, put in 501 Willow Blvd., Willowbrook, IL. Otherwise, get yourself to the intersection of Archer and Willowbrook Rd. Head east on Archer, turn left on Willow Blvd., and follow it until it heads back west. You'll pass under Willowbrook Rd, and then turn right to get to the parking lot and trail head. It's a flat, scenic ride suitable for the casual rider.
First bike ride EVER. (Monday, 8:30 am) Enjoyed the peace and quiet. The connection to the Centennial Trail is at the end of the loop and marked by a LARGE sign directing you up and across rt 83. Travel across the bridge via a separate bike lane to the connecting trail. Enjoy, it did.
FYI,Cook County Forest Preserve Police are enforcing a ridiculous 8mph speed limit!
Yup,you read that right.8mph.
Consider yourself warned.
Nothing on the TrailLink site explains how to find the parking lot. Here's what I did: Going south on Archer, there is a nothing-looking little street, Willow Blvd., just a block south of Willow Springs Rd. Make the Right turn onto it, then another Right (the only way possible), then a Left onto Old Willow Rd which leads right to the parking lot. It is, indeed, almost under Willow Springs Rd. as one other post has described it. I found it by zeroing in on the satellite view on Mapquest.
I've been on this trail numerous times and could never figure out how to get to the Centennial Trail past Rt 83. I get up on the bridge and then turn down what I think is the continuation of the trail, but all I found was a gravel road that looked more industrial rather than recreational. I now see that the Centennial Trail is further north of this trail along Willow Springs road.
My husband fell upon this trail with my daughter. It is a quiet trail not very busy .
Fine as far as it goes. Disappointing when you have to turn around and go back. I wish it connected to the other river trails to the Southwest.
Actual distance if you ride one full circuit of the trail is 11.01 miles.
Pavement worn out, not scheduled for repaving for at least 1 year.
Deer and Coyotes not uncommon, watch for chipmunks in high summer
Please observe trail rules, call out when passing slower riders.
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