Whether you are looking for history, unusual plant life or recreation, Lincoln Trail State Park has something to interest you. Located just west of IL Rt. 1, 2 miles south of Marshall in Clark County, the area is named after the trail Abraham Lincoln's family followed enroute from Indiana to Illinois in 1831. Three Native American groups, the Miami, Kickapoo and Mascouten, occupied the site before it was ceded to the United States in the early 19th century.
Today, visitors to the 1,023-acre park can enjoy the sights of an American Beech woods; wildflowers, including the unusual squaw-root and beech drops; and recreational activities such as boating, camping, fishing, hiking and winter sports. There is truly something for everyone.
The wooded shoreline of Lincoln Trail Lake is beautiful any time of the year and the perfect spot for a picnic. Several shaded areas are furnished with tables, stoves, toilet facilities and water. Four shelters also are available, one of which has electricity. Children will appreciate the playground equipment at two of the larger picnic areas.
Two Class A campgrounds, Plainview and Lakeside, offer something for every type of camper. For those who like the beautiful sights and sounds of the great outdoors, but prefer the amenities of home, both areas offer electricity, showers, tables, fireblocks, playground equipment, water, toilet facilities and a sanitary dumping station. For those who wish to be attuned to nature without the distractions of modern conveniences, Lakeside Campground also includes a Class C camping area for tents. The shower buildings are closed by November 1 (may be earlier if bad weather) and reopen May 1 (may be earlier, weather depending).
Organized youth groups may wish to reserve the group camping area in advance by calling the park office.
All campers must obtain camping permits before entering the campground.
The Lincoln Trail State Park restaurant/concession has available firewood, bait, boat rentals and during the camping season will make free deliveries of dinners to the campground.
Boaters can take advantage of the opportunity for time on the water, or just enjoy the view of the shoreline from Lincoln Trail Lake. The docking facility includes a launching ramp and parking for boat trailers. Boat and seasonal dock rentals are available at the concession stand. Outboard motors are limited to 10 hp, and Illinois boating regulations must be observed.
Largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, sunfish, crappie and channel catfish abound at the lake and provide another source of enjoyment for visitors. Size and creel limits are in effect for some species, so check with the site office for specific information on fishing opportunities and regulations.
Located downstairs from the restaurant is a concession that offers live bait, tackle, row boat and paddle boat rentals, bagged ice, firewood, snacks and drinks.
You can enhance the pleasure of your stay at the park by taking a short walk past the boat docks and campgrounds or a longer hike that lets you experience the diversity of the site.
The Beech Tree Trail is just a 0.5 mile long, extending from the boat dock parking lot and concession stand, past the large picnic shelter, to Lakeside Campground. The trail includes a series of stairways and foot bridges, which provide an excellent view of the beech maple forest contained within the nature preserve.
For the adventurous, Sand Ford Nature Trail is an opportunity to experience the park's habitat changes while enjoying a 2-mile hike through an oak-hickory forest.
To truly experience the beauty of winter, try one of the winter sports available at Lincoln Trail. Ice fishing and skating are allowed when weather conditions permit, and 6 miles of roadway around the lake are available for cross-country skiing when snow closes the roads to traffic. These activities are at the visitors' own risk.