From its headwaters in McLean County Illinois the Sangamon River winds its way 240 miles through the relatively flat landscape of central Illinois to its confluence with the Illinois River at Beardstown. An 85-mile stretch of the Sangamon between Decatur and Petersburg includes the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail. The trail was dedicated by Gov. Otto Kerner in 1965. Read about the Memorial Day celebration float here.
Menard County Trails & Greenways normally holds a canoe/kayak float event each fall from the Gudgel Road Bridge to Petersburg. For many years, MCTG volunteers helped Abe’s River Race organizers with an annual canoe and kayak race between the Irwin Bridge Road and New Salem State Historic Site.
Our vision is to make the river accessible to the public. The Trails Committee is actively working to improve access along the stretch of river between the Irwin Road Bridge to the Gudgel Road Bridge to New Salem State Historic Site to Riverside Nature Park in Petersburg. If you share our vision, please join us.
For more about the Sangamon River, its history and many uses we invite you to watch these videos:
The Sangamon River “A Sense of Place
Life and Times of the Sangamon River
History of the Sangamon River Valley – HD 720p.mov from Treetop Productions on Vimeo.