The Hennepin Canal Parkway is a 104.5 mile long State Park spanning five Illinois Counties which include Bureau, Henry, Lee, Rock Island, and Whiteside. The Hennepin Canal Parkway provides a wide variety of recreational activities including fishing, boating, picnicking, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and snowmobiling. The Hennepin Canal is also steeped in history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are 32 of the 33 original locks still visible on the canal. History, Natural Beauty, and Recreation makes the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park an important resource for all the communities along its banks.
Before exploring the wonders at the park, stop in at the Visitor Center near Sheffield. There are several displays that help illustrate the canal's past -- including tools used to build and operate it. At the time the canal was built workers often made their own tools by hand. There's also a model of a lock with a boat going through it and a model of an aqueduct. Get a peek at the plant and animal life at the park through other displays at the center.
Just outside the center is a beautiful half-acre patch of wildflower prairie. Among the plantings are little bluestem and big bluestem-- the official state prairie grass.
Don't miss the marsh observation area and duck blind located near the Visitor Center. There you will see a variety of marsh type plants and animals including ducks, geese, redwing blackbirds, muskrat and cattails.
Hours: Visitor Center, M-F 8:00AM - 4:00PM
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