I & M Canal Mule-Pulled Boat Rides

In 1848, Illinois was a very different place! Prairies covered much of the state, settlers used wagons and stagecoaches for transportation and to ship goods, and LaSalle, IL was bigger than Chicago!

Come journey back in time aboard the “Volunteer,” a 70-passenger, mule-pulled 1840’s replica canal boat as it coasts gently up and down the I&M Canal. Bring your camera, grab a snack and something to drink at the Lock 16 Cafe, and climb aboard for an hour of peaceful, historical fun!

Every trip begins with “Mule Tending 101” as our period dressed guides introduce the passengers to their intrepid canal mules, Larry & Moe. The Captain regales everyone with tales of the canal while his deck hands guide the boat a mile up the canal to the Little Vermillion aqueduct and back. Mary Todd Lincoln has been known to ride the boat, knitting in the corner and telling fantastic stories of her time in the Nation’s capital with Mr. Lincoln.

Families of all ages, historians, photographers and nature lovers will love this historic journey into Illinois’ scenic past! Visit the online calendar to see available dates. Tours run May through October throughout the week. Group tours also available! Call 815-220-1848 for tour information.

After your ride, be sure to check out downtown LaSalle’s shops, restaurants, antiques and the beautiful Hegeler Carus Mansion. Brides to be should stop by Marien Mae’s bridal, a beautifully restored environment with gorgeous dresses. The Uptown Grill has been a mainstay of downtown LaSalle for years, and the Pink Chihuahua serves up Tapas with style! Be sure to check out the new vintage market Canal Cargo, across the street from Lock 16!