This Discussion is to provide up-to-date information regarding the I&M Centennial Trail. As you ride it, provide a brief report here.
I'd like to hear some current information on this trail. I've ridden it many times to the LaSalle-Peru area to visit my sister and many of my friends from before I moved to Chicago.
The last I heard, following the high rain in April, is that may parts of the I&M Canal are washed out, and that planning on following this trail may not be a good plan.
I have someone riding up from New Orleans and following the Illinois River to Chicago and I've told her to avoid the canal path.
I ride the I & M Canal trail often from Channahon to Seneca. Yet to go on it this year as it is not a fun trail when the weather has been bad. Better when the trees are in full bloom. Plenty of wildlife to see. Ducks, turtles, heron, cardinals & deer. From Joliet Iron Works to the start of the Centennial Trail at 135th/Romeo rd is the best section.
There is a washout between N. Utica and Ottawa. There is a path down to a stream that you can shimmy across on some branches while pushing your bike across. Or you can just walk across the stream.
The section between Marseilles and Ottawa is marked as closed. However, traveling east you can get about halfway to Marseilles before the downed trees get pretty annoying. I'd leave the trail at the railroad spur near the ADM property and follow the adjacent road the rest of the way to Marseilles. Then at the little league park, you can get back on the trail.
Rode Joliet to Ottawa this weekend. The trail is OK almost half of the way to Morris, even though it's narrow and weedy at places. West of Morris to Seneca it's, basically, a single track, but still rideable. Seneca to Ottawa... better take roads. There's a 3.25 m stretch on the US-6, but it has a shoulder with a rumble strip separating it from the (light) traffic. Here's the route I'd recommend.