Completed in 1848, the Illinois & Michigan (I&M) Canal was a waterway that connected Lake Michigan to the Illinois River. This was the important link that allowed shipping from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico (via the Mississippi River). Towns like Lemont popped up along the Canal to create markets and assist with shipping goods. Many boats were towed by mule, which march along paths on the side of the canal (with a large tow strap connecting the two).
As the Illinois Waterway and Ship & Sanitary Canal took over the commercial aspects of the Canal, the tow path still remains and allows for running, hiking, biking, and more. You can still see the Canal as you visit Downtown Lemont.
The Canal itself will take you to adventure, whether it be the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area, The Forge: Lemont Quarries, or the Cal-Sag trail (which connects to five regional trails that stretch over 100 miles).