Water Trail

2017 Abe's River Race

SAVE THE DATE!  The 5th Annual 2017 Abe's River Race will be held on Saturday, May 27 in Petersburg, Illinois.  This Race will be the run from Springfield Park District's Riverside Park and will end at Lincoln's Riverside Park in Petersburg.  This distance is approximately 24 miles and at that distance will be the longest competitive paddling event in Illinois.  We are working to ensure we maintain the high quality experience you have come to expect from the Abe's River Race.  Please check back here for updates and additional details in the coming months. We want your input and suggestions for this race, so please use our email link here or join the conversations on our Facebook page 
We hope you will join us for another great event.  To learn more, please see the Attached Flyer from the 2016 Abe's River Race.



Canoes & Candlelight 2016!

The 2nd Annual Canoes & Candlelight paddle will be held on October 8th, 2016.  See the "PADDLING" tab for more information.


More About the River

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

In The News

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.

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

2015 Race Slideshow


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!