Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail (HCPT)

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Trail Alerts
Trails: Temporary or Partial Closure - Hennepin Canal Parkway –

This trail has temporary or partial closures. Please plan ahead and use caution when using this trail. Check with trail manager contacts for more information.

The section from Lock 26 (near County Highway 235 between Colona and Geneseo, IL) to Interstate 80 (4.8 miles) continues to remain "Closed". No repairs have been completed on this portion of the trail. There are numerous wash-outs and spots where erosion has left "drop offs" to the point where the trail narrows to only 4' - 5' wide.

Safety: Potential Flooding/Water Hazards –

This trail is located close to or on open water, wetlands, or floodplain. Please use caution and be alert for water near or on the trail. Be alert for flooding and swiftly moving water. Check with your local trail manager for more information on closures during periods of high water.

Trailhead Information

The Hennepin Canal Parkway can be accessed in numerous places along both the main canal and feeder canal. See the map for specific parking and trailhead locations. 

The Hennepin Canal Parkway Visitor Center is located just outside the QC Region, near Sheffield, Illinois (one mile south of I-80, just west of Route 40). East or westbound travelers on I-80 should take Exit 45, turn right (south) on Route 40. Then almost immediately cross the Canal and in about 1 mile is the brown sign directing them to the Parkway Visitors Center. Turn right (west) and proceed to the Center. For more info, call 815-454-2328.


The Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail follows an old towpath along this historic canal, which opened in 1907 as a link between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The canal was abandoned when railroads made carrying goods by canal obsolete. The canal is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire parkway spans across five counties in Illinois with its western terminus in the Quad Cities Region in Rock Island and Henry Counties. The Hennepin Canal provides a wide variety of recreational activities including fishing, boating, picnicking, canoeing, walking horseback riding, bicycling, camping, and snowmobiling.

Portions of the trail must be shared by walkers, cyclists, and equestrians where the towpath is located on only one side of the canal around the aqueducts. Generally, there is grass for equestrian use on the opposite side of the canal from the paved surface. The grassy side can be used by cyclists and hikers, but equestrians have the right-of-way.

Other Information

Sections of the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail in this region are also part of the American Discovery Trail (ADT) and the Grand Illinois Trail (GIT). The American Discovery Trail traverses the U.S., coast to coast, from California to Delaware for more than 6,800 miles across 15 states.  As it loops more than 500 miles between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, the entire Grand Illinois Trail joins together existing and proposed state and local trails to create the state’s longest continuous trail. It hugs historic canals, crosses unglaciated hills, parallels the Rock and Fox Rivers, and includes one of America’s first rail-trails.

The Rock River Trail is a system of recreational trails on and along the Rock River that goes through 11 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois. This QC Trails featured trail is part of that network. The Rock River Trail was established in 2010 to promote recreational use and appreciation of all 320 miles of the Rock River. Visit the trail online to learn more about how to hike, bike, paddle, horseback ride, drive, fly, or appreciate history, art, or chocolate along the trail!

Elevation Profile

The Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail in the Quad Cities region is comprised of many sections and local trails along its route. Please refer to the individual trails that are listed under the section "Show Connector Trails" and view trail postings to see their elevation profiles.

Trail Manager

Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Hennepin Canal State Trail online for more information or contact:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-6302


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Dave Druen - August 20, 2018

The above post from Dave Druen is about the North Feeder Canal...


Dave Druen - August 20, 2018

Visit the home of the birthplace of Ronald Reagan in Tampico, Il just 1.5 miles off the trail. Further North in Rock Falls is Crystal Lake Rv Park with swimming lake, beach, Go Carts and more. North up the trail see the 115 year old Guard Lock Gate being fed from the Rock River. Take a walk across the Sinissippi Walkway bridge across the Rock River to the Dillon home museum and Steam Engine and Mound Builder Indian Burial Grounds at Sinissippi Park..

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