Lincoln traveled the Sangamon by flatboat until landing at New Salem where history and his legacy began.
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.
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!
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, July 15th for the 6th Annual Abe's River Race.
NEW DATE - the 5th Annual 2017 Abe's River Race will be held on Saturday, July 15 in Petersburg, Illinois. Paddlers will have the opportunity to explore approximately 13.5 miles of the lower Sangamon River as it flows north from Sangamon County to Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site in Petersburg, Illinois.
Due to significant rainfall totals over the past few weeks and equally significant releases from the reservoirs upstream of Petersburg, the Sangamon River will continue rise and is forecast to be at or near flood stage on Saturday, May 27th.
Consequently, Abe’s River Race will be postponed until July 15th.
For all who have registered online, we will contact you personally to offer a refund or roll your registration forward to July 15. At this time, we anticipate the 2017 Abe’s River Race will continue on July 15 as planned—the same itinerary, the same launch and landing sites, the same racing divisions and the same awesome awards!
We will take the additional time to continue to work with vendors and partners to provide a truly great Abe’s River Race! We will post updates on area events and happenings to provide you options and opportunities to fill your July 15thweekend with fun!
So, mark your calendars, grow your beards longer and your hats taller, and Get Your
Abe On for the 2017 Abe’s River Race on July 15!
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.
Lincoln Heritage Water Trail