A Little Transportation History
Time of Walk: 11:00 AM
Temperature: 32° F (felt like 22°)
Weather: Partly Sunny
Once again, first thing this morning, my husband asked me where are we walking today. After last weekend’s super successful walks, I am starting to feel a little pressure to find new and exciting places to walk!
Today, my husband, youngest son, and I headed to another one of the Cook County Forest Preserves. Today we walked on the Illinois and Michigan (I & M) Canal Bicycle Trail. We walked the mid-section of the the five mile trail which runs alongside the I & M Canal on one side and along mixed industrial and woods (full of dead or dying ash trees, unfortunately) on the other.
I have to admit that I thought the I & M Canal would be bigger. It was really no bigger than a large creek, at least in the section that we walked today. I later learned that the functions of the canal were taken over by the larger Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and parts of the I & M Canal have actually been filled in. I also learned of the I & M’s rich history as it first allowed boat transportation from The Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Railroads, which still run along the I & M Canal, replaced many of the I & M Canal’s transportation functions too. We had to cross railroad tracks to get to the bike path, and while we were walking we saw an Amtrak train en route to Chicago from St. Louis.
Good day, good walk.