Water Trail

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.

2016 Abe's River Race

The 5th Annual 2016 Abe's River Race will be held on Saturday, May 28 in Petersburg, Illinois.  Paddlers can explore approximately 13.5 miles of the lower Sangamon River as it flows north from Sangamon County to Lincoln's New Salem Historical Site in Petersburg.  Awards will be presented to winners in the various categories.  A float with friends will be held once again and is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic river.  A race reception and post-race party will be held at RiverBank Lodge in Petersburg, on the banks of the Sangamon River.  You can register online at www.GetMeRegistered.com.  Cost is only $30 and includes a "Paddlers Packet."


We hope you will join us for another great event.  To learn more, please see the Attached Flyer.



More About the River

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

Part of the Lincoln Legacy

2015 Race Slideshow


In The News

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.  Join us Saturday, May 28th for the 5th Annual Abe's River Race.

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!