I&M Canal State Trail sections in Channahon to close beginning Monday for work

A Forest Preserve District of Will County project that will connect the Lake Chaminwood Preserve loop trail to the I&M Canal State Trail in Channahon will require closures on sections of both trails from March 25 through June 30.

Sections of the I&M Canal State Trail and the Lake Chaminwood Preserve loop trail in Channahon are scheduled to be closed from March 25 to June 30 for a Forest Preserve District of Will County trail connection project.

A 3-mile portion of the I&M Canal State Trail will be closed from the Interstate 55 frontage road to West Knapp Street, according to a news release from the forest district. The back section of the Lake Chaminwood Preserve loop trail that is closest to the canal trail also will be closed for the duration of the project. Barricades and signs will be posted on both trails.

Anyone who disobeys the closure signs and barricades could be ticketed, according to the release. The closures are necessary as a 0.25-mile paved path extension is built that will link the Forest Preserve District’s Lake Chaminwood loop trial to the 61.5-mile, state-owned I&M Canal trail via a 90-foot bridge over the canal, according to the forest district.

Lake Chaminwood is the planned southern terminus of the DuPage River Trail. Connecting Lake Chaminwood to the I&M Canal State Trail now will allow for the regional DuPage and I&M Canal trails to be connected in the future, according to the release. Also, as part of the current Lake Chaminwood project, two new accessible fishing piers will be built, one on the east lake and one on the west lake.Weather and other factors could affect the project timeline.

Updates will be posted on the Current Headlines section of the Forest Preserve’s website, ReconnectWithNature.org, as necessary.

This is the second phase of Forest Preserve District improvements at Lake Chaminwood Preserve. Phase one, which was completed in 2023, included a larger parking lot, a new entrance, an accessible kayak launch and a welcome plaza., according to the release.