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Illinois State Parks

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Central Region
Lincoln Trail State Park
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16985 E. 1350th Rd
Marshall, Illinois   62441

Phone: 217-826-2222
Reservations: 217-826-2222
Email: park email button icon
Whether you are looking for history, unusual plant life or recreation, Lincoln Trail State Park has something to interest you. Located just west of Illinois Route 1, two miles south of Marshall in Clark County, the area is named after the trail Abraham Lincoln's family followed en route 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.
Nature of the Area
Lincoln Trail Lake:

The focal point of the park is Lincoln Trail Lake, which covers 146 acres in the southwest corner of the park. With its numerous fingers and more than seven miles of thickly wooded shoreline, it offers one beautiful vista after another. Lincoln Trail Lake was the third lake created in Illinois (1955-1956) using federal monies under the Dingell-Johnson Act. The lake's maximum depth is 41 feet.

Plant Life:

American Beech Woods, an Illinois Nature Preserve, is an especially noteworthy part of the park. The deep ravines of the preserve overflow with a beech-maple forest that is little changed from pioneer days. Southern Illinois and the eastern border of the state are the only areas where the American Beech grows in Illinois. It is a distinctive tree, with smooth gray bark. If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, try to find squaw-root and beech drops. These two wildflowers are unusual because they lack chlorophyll.
History of the Area
Long before Abraham Lincoln passed through the area, it was settled by Native Americans. Before the 18th century, the main tribes in the area were the Piankeshaw and Wea, of a Miami group. In the early 1700s, the Kickapoo moved south from Wisconsin, pushing the Piankeshaw and Wea south and east. The Kickapoos remained in control of the land until it was ceded to the United States in two separate treaties.

The western boundary of the first cession is known as the Old Indian Boundary Line or the One O'Clock Line. It runs through Clark County, passing through the Lincoln Trail State Park near the boat dock and crosses the campground. It is called the One O'Clock Line because it is said that, if you look south from Pilot Grove in Vermillion county, the boundary runs in the direction of the sun at one o'clock in the afternoon. The area west of the original boundary was ceded by the Kickapoo in 1819.

The state acquired the first 31 acres of the park in 1936. The park and lake were officially dedicated in 1958.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
 Electric Sitesyes
 Water/Electric Sitesyes
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.

Organized adult or 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.
Take advantage of the opportunity or just enjoy the view of the shoreline from the 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 horsepower, 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. Special size and creel limits are in effect for some species, so please check with the site superintendent's office for specific information on fishing opportunities and regulations.

Lincoln Trail State Park is located near Terre Haute

The wooded shoreline is beautiful any time of the year and is the perfect spot for a picnic. Several shaded areas are furnished with tables, stoves, toilet facilities and water. Four shelters are also available, one of which has electricity. Children will appreciate the playground equipment at two of the larger picnic areas.
Fifty years after Lincoln's death, the Illinois General Assembly authorized the Illinois State Historical Library to mark the exact route traveled by Abraham Lincoln from Kentucky through Indiana to Illinois. Almost another 50 years passed before the 1,000-mile trail was opened in 1963. With 3,000 markers showing the way, the trail winds through Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. The Lincoln Trail State Park is just west of the Trail, as it follows Illinois Route 1. A few miles north of the park, the trail branches off onto a county road heading west toward Clarksville.

Aside from the Lincoln Heritage Trail, 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 half-mile long, extending from the boat dock parking lot and concession stand, past the large picnic shelter, and 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 two-mile hike through an oak-hickory forest.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 15 GREAT STOPPING SPOT by Schmalshofs of GA.
park review stars; one to five the restaurant is wonderful; atmosphere, food and service. Home made ice cream and pies. Camping is super, restrooms are spot on.
June 27 Memories by motherof4monkeys
park review stars; one to five Fabulous place to take the ever growing family for pleasant times to remember. My extended family have had a picnic there every summer since 1990. We look forward to the scenery, the fishing and the camping. We always know that a good time will be had by all. We have even had family come in from Massachusetts to enjoy the area!!!
October 4 a beautiful park and its close to I-70 by Bill
park review stars; one to five A real Gem, this park has two seperate campgrounds, one that has beautiful sites overlooking the lake and ravines and another area that is flat and easy to manuver large rigs. A very quiet and beautiful park with a friendly staff and a restaurant with views of the lake
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