My husband, an avid cyclist (the biking kind), has ridden on the I&M Canal trail in Illinois more than once. In a riff of the Rails-to-Trails theme, the canal is still there, but the towpath is now a hiking/biking trail.
After repeatedly hearing of it beauty and wildlife, I decided I had to see it as well, only on foot. So one afternoon, we walked a few of its 60+ miles, which took some time, as I was constantly stopping for photos. It was warm enough that we even spotted a number of turtles sunning themselves on logs in the water. It was amusing to hear them plop into the water if we got too close.
We also spotted a number of birds. Perhaps because there were so few people out that day or maybe just because they’re somewhat used to humans, there were a number of great photo ops. Here’s one beauty who appeared to be posing for the shot. Thankfully, I had my Nikon and not just my phone!