The 162-acre Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial is most commonly known for its historical significance as the first home of Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln family, having moved from Indiana, erected their homestead west of Decatur along the Sangamon River. However, after a harsh winter and illness, the family moved again a year later. A marker was later erected around the area where the first Lincoln home was built.
In addition to its historical site, the park also hosts a wide variety of habitats that host all but one of the 300 species of bird found in the state, including 30 considered endangered or threatened. Eighty percent of the state’s mammals also reside at Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial, in addition to about half of the state’s reptiles and plants.
At Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial, visitors can engage in all kinds of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and more. The Sangamon River is a popular site for canoeing and kayaking. The river is also called the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail and offers stunning views of the surrounding forests, bluffs, and wildlife.
Fishing in the river provides excellent chances for catfish and bluegill, as well as a decent chance for crappie, bullhead, walleye, and sunfish. Take your pup on a walk along one of three established trails through the woods or along the river. Or bring food and enjoy a picnic at a pavilion or a picnic bench.
The pavilions have playground equipment, grills or fire rings, as well as bathroom facilities and water hydrants. Picnic shelters may be reserved online. Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial allows leashed pets in the park. Be respectful and pick up pet waste.
Do not permit your dog to disturb wildlife or other guests, and do not bring dogs into any buildings or leave them unattended. If you’re near Springfield or Decatur in Central Illinois and looking for a serene spot to walk your dog or enjoy some American history, visit Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial.