Heritage Quarries Recreation Area

1001 N. Main Street Lemont, IL 60439

Lemont owes its existence to the Illinois and Michigan Canal (I&M). Digging of the canal began in 1836 and finished in 1848, and represented a revolution in the transportation of goods and people and set Chicago on its path to becoming a great American city.

Today, visitors can enjoy a day at the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area (HQRA). Whether you're walking, running, biking, boating, or fishing, the paths along the I&M Canal and quarries is your location for recreation.

The area is open from dusk until dawn, seven days a week. There is no swimming, no hunting, no alcohol, and no open fires allowed. Only paddle, oar, or electronic tolling motorboats are allowed.

Located just half a mile east of downtown Lemont, the entrance is at the end of Pruxne Street, which can be accessed from Talcott Avenue or Main Street. The Main Street entrance is right across from Turnabout Pizza, over the railroad tracks, then turn right. Following the road, you will cross another set of tracks, and just past the tracks, the first entrance is to the east. This area has plenty of parking and the welcoming pavilion is located at the end of the parking lot. The walking trail is also accessible from there.

A second entrance is located just past the first on the east side as well. From here, you can drive your vehicle through to the picnic grove area, and the Great Lakes Quarries. There are many parking spots along the way where you will see fishermen and fisherwomen, kayakers and boaters enjoying the tranquility of the quarries.

The entrance to the west end of the quarries is accessible off of Stephen Street in downtown Lemont, just northeast of the I&M Canal bridge. Parking is available in the lot and the trail is along the canal. No unauthorized vehicles are allowed on this path.

Nature is at its best in the quarries which attracts grebes, coots, herons, swallows and ducks. Even bald eagles have been spotted in the area.


Scenes from Around the Corridor