Water Trail

The Lincoln Heritage Water Trail Association Joins Collaborative Organization

From Mahomet to Decatur to Petersburg, Sangamon River groups and organizations share a common vision for the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail. Check out the organizations and upcoming events here.

More About the River

Lincoln traveled the Sangamon by flatboat until landing at New Salem where history and his legacy began.

Menard County Tourism

In addition to the Sangamon River and nearby Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park, there are many sites to visit. And don't forget Lincoln's New Salem and other Lincoln sites.  Click on the link above to learn more from the Menard County Tourism Council.

In The News

the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail 

The Water Trail follows the Sangamon River as it flows past the Lincoln Homestead State Park, just west of Decatur, Illinois to Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, just 1.5 miles south of Petersburg, Illinois - the town that Lincoln surveyed.  In 1965 then Governor Otto Kerner signed legislation creating the trail and we will soon celebrate the 50th anniversary of this landmark event.

The Water Trail provides the public with an unique opportunity to not simply see the places Lincoln lived, but to experience, through doing, some of the places, vistas and adventures that are now much as they were 150 years ago, when Lincoln made the trek.  From remnants of bison trails, river crossings, old mill sites and abandoned buildings long forgotten, you can relive history.

Today, Lincoln's Sangamon River is essentially undeveloped and is a fantastic natural resource for canoeists, kayakers and photographers.  Watch the eagles soar, observe wildlife in their native habitat and enjoy the peaceful float that transports you through time.  History awaits your discovery!

Part of the Lincoln Legacy

Discover the Beauty

and enjoy nature when you explore the Sangamon River, made famous by Abraham Lincoln when he stopped and made New Salem his home.  Check out our Facebook page for current events.

October 7th, 2017 Canoes and Candlelight 

10:00 Equipment drop at Gudgel Bridge
10:30 to 11:30pm Registration & Sign-in @Pavilion 1 by the New Salem boat ramp
11:30pm Shuttle departure
Noon Launch from Gudgel
12:00pm to 3:30pm Paddling the Sangamon in search of Dinosaurs, Monsters & Myths
4:00pm to 6:30pm Refreshments and music by Ben Bedford
7:00pm to 9:00pm Tour New Salem Village by Candlelight
Costs Per Paddler (includes registration, shuttle, food, and entertainment):

Youth 18 and under -- $10.00.
Adults - $20.00

Bring your canoe or kayak and spend the day exploring the history of the Sangamon River or tread the miles of trails that meander about the river bluffs of Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Petersburg, Illinois.

Check out this and other events on Facebook.

2015 Abe's Race Slideshow