6 New Walk, Hike & Bike History Tours | Springfield, Illinois | Visit Springfield

Springfield has an awesome new & free way to explore Illinois' capital city in 2021! 

Enjoy IDNR’s State Historic Sites “Walk, Hike and Bike History,” a series of inspiring outdoor experiences that will connect you to our must see museums & monuments throughout Springfield. Guided tours range from 1 - 2 hours, however if you wish go longer, all you gotta do is ask. (Program runs mid-March through mid-November)

Now let talk about the 6, yes 6 new experiences for you in 2021!

Friends of Lincoln Hike: This 90 minute hike through the beautiful hills of Oak Ridge Cemetery will pass by the graves of a number of Abraham Lincoln’s friends, neighbors, and political associates. At each stop, we will talk about the person’s life and highlight their interactions with the 16th president. Comfortable shoes and water recommended.

Military History Hike: This 90 minute hike around Oak Ridge Cemetery will visit the final resting places of numerous veterans. This will include a mixture of both notable figures who served in prominent positions as well as soldiers who are little known today. Comfortable shoes and water recommended.

History Bike Tour: Ride your own bicycle following a guide on a casual and easy-paced bicycle tour of historic sites in the capital city. This neighborhood-style ride will go past historic sites, including the Black Fire House, Dana-Thomas House, Lincoln Home, Old State Capitol, Lincoln Tomb, and others. Information will be provided at nine stops along the route. The eight-mile round trip ride will take about 2 hours. Helmets are required and a water bottle is recommended.

Black History Walk: This 90 minute walk through Oak Ridge Cemetery focuses on the history of Springfield’s African-American community, discussing great tragedies, as well as stories of success in the face of severe adversity and prejudice. Water and good hiking shoes recommended. We collaborate with the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum to also offer this tour virtually in conjunction with their online programming.

1908 Race Riot Walking Tour: 43 years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and just 6 months before his 100th birthday, many of his hometown African American friends and their descendant’s lives were turned upside down by racial hate and economic jealousy during the Springfield 1908 Race Riot. This 60 minute tour will discuss a portion of the devastating 1908 Race Riot that destroyed and affected the lives of many of Abraham Lincoln’s African American friends and their descendants. Comfortable walking shoes and water recommended.

Dana-Thomas House Exterior Tour: We can learn a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright and Susan Lawrence Dana by walking around the exterior of the 12,000 sq. ft. house that was designed by Wright in 1902. This 60 minute tour will discuss their lives as well as architecture and art glass. The tour will include the courtyard and two porches.

All experiences are limited to 9 people and they follow all guidelines outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Individuals or groups can visit the IDNR website here to learn more and make reservations, or call 217-524-3971 to inquire about additional days and times. 

What else is new in 2021 you ask, check out our New Things in 2021 blog post to find out more fun stuff!

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