The Illinois & Michigan Canal used to connect ships from Lake Michigan to the Illinois river. No one knows what happened but ships found a different route and the I&M canal was abandoned. Now a bike/hiking trail runs on the southern side of what remains (it is partly filled in). That was supposed to be humorous. If you would like to know the real story I'm sure it is available somewhere on the net. This trail is a very scenic path which goes from Joliet to halfway across the state in Peru, Illinois. There are many side paths and distractions, including old railroad tracks, bridges, canal locks, and small towns. If you plan to bike the whole thing, get an early start in the morning.