It starts just 'round the corner from here, beneath Willow Springs Road. See the Metra station? There's a parking lot just northwest of it; the trailhead's there.
The path is essentially continuous. Amazingly so, really. The only sustained break is through Joliet, where you'll be on local streets for a few minutes, but it's a pleasant little city.
I've not yet been as far west as Starved Rock, but yes, I like to ride on this path. There's camping at a couple of places along the way, which makes for a relatively quick overnight trip out and back.
I have ridden most of the I&M path and it's a gem, loaded with history, lots of town restorations, and generally a lot of fun to ride. With just a few tweaks it could become my #1 favorite.
I like to do the Metra on the way over, and Amtrak on the way back
Thanks for sharing - this looks like an excellent three, even two day vacation I can sneak in before school starts. Any favorite places at Starved Rock?
There was just a chainlink camping trip to starved rock about a month ago. The long and short of it is that the I & M path is great except for it gets sketchy near the end. I think the route that appeared to be the best one was to take the Metra to Joliet, then the I & M trail to around Marseilles. Then hopping on IL 6 to Ottawa and then onto IL 71 to starved rock.
I rode this last year to Starved Rock, after taking the Metra to Joliet. Just a warning, the I&M canal trail is great until Morris, but after Morris it is poorly maintained. Huge ruts, overgrown vegetation, puddles, etc. On my way back I decided to ride the quiet road next to the trail because the trail was in such poor condition.