Outdoors & Recreation Bird Watching

Hennepin Feeder Canal Parkway

Rock Falls, IL - Whiteside County
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Address:

  • 209 Emmons Ave.
  • Rock Falls, IL, 61071
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5,400 acres

The Hennepin Canal Parkway Feeder covers 5,400 acres and extends from Rock Falls to Sheffield, IL. The Hennepin Canal Feeder opens the door to the parkway with miles of bike and hiking paths, canoeing, fishing and historical sites along the way. Enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, boating & canoeing.

It has a total length of over 104 miles. A multi-national recreation trail comprised of biking, kayaking, snowmobiling, equestrian, fishing, etc. Running along the water is a bike trail for a total of 104 miles of the feeder and main canal. The Hennepin Feeder begins with a Guard Lock Gate designed to regulate the water and to portage boats through, to, and from the Rock River. Arduini boat launch is just north of the Guard Lock Gate with a parking lot and bathrooms. South of the feeder, there are 5 Historic Lock Tender buildings still in great shape today. Along a 2.5 mile stretch of feeder consists of two parks, Nims and Centennial parks, with frisbee golf, paddle boating, shelters, bathrooms, tennis courts, softball, pond, playground, and more. Crystal Lake Rv Campground, with a swimming lake, beaches, Go Cart track, hotels, motels, and restaurants, can all be found along a 2.5-mile stretch to Rt 40 with easy access to all from the trail.

History of the Canal

The Hennepin Canal played an important role in the history of commerce and industry in the United States, as a result, the entire canal is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rock Falls, Illinois, is the starting point of the Hennepin Feeder Canal, where the Rock River supplies water to the greater Hennepin Canal.

The Hennepin was the first American canal built of concrete without stone-cut facings. Although the Hennepin enjoyed limited success as a waterway, engineering innovations used in its construction were a bonus to the construction industry. In fact, the construction of the Panama Canal was based on some of the building techniques used for the Hennepin. 

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