Bridge installed over I&M Canal for Forest Preserve’s trail connection project

Work on a trail extension project that will connect Lake Chaminwood Preserve to the I&M Canal State Trail in Channahon jumped a big hurdle on April 19 when a bridge was installed over the canal.

During installation, the prefabricated, weathered steel truss bridge was securely anchored to the concrete abutments, said John Stecyk, a Forest Preserve District of Will County project manager.

Concrete work will take place over the next few weeks and the 90-foot bridge will feature a 12-foot-wide walkway once it is completed. This bridge will eventually connect the Forest Preserve District’s 0.7-mile paved loop trail at Lake Chaminwood with the state’s 61.5-mile crushed limestone canal trail, which stretches from Rockdale to LaSalle.

The back portion of the loop trail and a 3-mile section of the canal trail, from Interstate 55 frontage road to West Knapp Street, are both closed while construction is ongoing. And the new bridge will remain closed to the public until the project is completed sometime in mid- to late June. Weather and other factors could affect the project timeline. Updates will be posted on the Forest Preserve’s website,, as necessary.

Once the project is completed, Lake Chaminwood will serve as the perfect trailhead for cyclists who want to park at the preserve and within a half mile, access the canal trail, Stecyk said. And canal trail users can discover Lake Chaminwood and find out why the site is popular with anglers, kayakers and hikers.

At some point in the future, Lake Chaminwood will serve as the location for the southern terminus of the DuPage River Trail.

This is the second phase of Forest Preserve District improvements at Lake Chaminwood. Phase one, which was completed in June 2023, included a larger parking lot, a new entrance, an accessible kayak launch on the 35-acre lake and a welcome plaza.

The improvements at Lake Chaminwood are being made possible with support from The Nature Foundation of Will County.