The historic Illinois and Michigan Canal a.k.a. the "I & M Canal". Built in 1848, the I & M Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and down to the Gulf of Mexico. This behemoth of a construction project stretched over 96 miles connecting Chicago to Lasalle/Peru and onto the Illinois River. This waterway was instrumental in the economic development of the towns and cities along its route and internationally. Visit the locations of original locks or take a bike ride along the tow path. This will be an ongoing project and new content will be added throughout the year.