The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial is a 162 acre (0.65 km²) state park located on the Sangamon River in Macon County near Harristown, Illinois. This important historic site, only 12 miles Southwest of Decatur, offers hiking, canoeing, picnicking, recreational activities, and a glimpse into the past. The park offers a unique view of central Illinois.
The state memorial, created in 1938, commemorates the approximate location of Abraham’s Lincoln’s first home in Illinois. The original Lincoln cabin has long been lost but the memorials and the quiet forest and stream easily transport the visitor back to the time when the Lincoln's first settled this virgin wilderness. When you visit the park, drive east to the end of the park road where you will the find the memorials.
The park is about 10 miles straight west of Decatur, Illinois. Take Route 36 to Lincoln Trail Memorial Parkway; go south four miles. The park is on the east side of the road
Enjoy canoeing/kayaking on the Sangamon River that Lincoln so loved and is called the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail. Canoeing on the river offers the canoer beautiful views of forests, bluffs, and a wide variety wildlife. Canoe launch is available.
The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park offers a variety of fishing opportunities along the Sangamon River. Rated “excellent” by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the flathead catfish and bluegill populations are the pride of the region. Coming in a close second, the channel catfish around the area are rated “very good.” Crappie, bullhead, walleye, and sunfish can also be caught. Canoe/kayak launch available.
There are 3 established nature trails. One is through the upland forest starting opposite the main pavilion and winding to the cemetery. This highlights the native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. There are two resting benches along the way. Two sets of steps south of the main pavilion lead down to trails along the river; one trail connects the steps; the other winds around to the boat launching site. This connects to a trail leading up to the Lincoln Memorial Parkway and a parking area for boaters. There is also a stairway to an overlook where the remains of the mill dam can be seen in the Sangamon River. This is also an ideal spot to watch birds and other wildlife.
Two pavilions, one large and one small, are available offering approximately 24 picnic benches to enjoy for picnics or group gatherings. All picnic areas are handicap accessible. One will find other picnic benches scattered throughout the park. Cooking grills or fire rings, water hydrants, toilet facilities (handicapped accessible), and parking spaces are available at each pavilion.