The Centennial Trail



When completed, the Centennial Trail will run for 20 miles from the Chicago Portage National Historic Site in Lyons to Lockport.  This 10 foot wide trail will also be a key link in the 500 mile Grand Illinois Trail.  The Civic Center Authority has been instrumental in planning and promoting the completion of the trail.

The Centennial Trail will run past the Santa Fe Prairie, tie the sites and projects of the Civic Center Authority together and greatly improve public access to the Des Plaines River and the I&M Canal.

Shortly after the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor (NHC) was created in 1984, one of the first actions that was generally agreed upon was the creation of a recreational trail that would span the length of the Corridor.  A few years later the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) celebrated its 100th anniversary.  With prompting from the NHC organizations, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's President Nicholas Melas and Board of Commissioners dedicated the necessary land to create the Centennial Trail throughout the easternmost section of the Corridor as a fitting memorial of its first century.  All of the NHC organizations and the three County Forest Preserve Districts were brought together to plan the trail as one of the first demonstrations of the new concept of a National Park as a "Partnership Park".

The Civic Center Authority has a long history of leadership in the planning of this trail; with the twelve towns of our territory, the MWRD, and with the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County including written and oral public testimony at many Board and Budget hearings.

The Centennial Trail is planned to begin at the Chicago Portage National Historic Site and will end in Lockport where it connects to the Gaylord Donnelly Trail.  and then with the I&M Canal State Trail.