June 3, 2022 through November 13, 2022
IDNR's State Historic Sites in Springfield invite you to check out Walk, Hike and Bike History, a brand new way to explore Illinois' capital city in 2022. Walk, Hike and Bike History is a series of inspiring outdoor experiences that connect you to "must-see" museums and monuments in the capital city. Guided by history education interpreters from IDNR's Office of Land Management, Walk, Hike and Bike History experiences range in duration from one to two hours. Reservations, which will be required, can be made on the IDNR website. All experiences will be limited in capacity per current guidelines outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health. All experiences are free and donations are appreciated.
Walk, Hike and Bike History Experiences
Underground Rail Road Walking Tour - This 45-minute, 1-mile walking tour explores several locations throughout Springfield which hold a special significance to the Underground Railroad. This tour includes visits to the Old State Capitol and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and explores other lesser-known locations around the city. Each stop details Springfield’s importance to the Underground Railroad and the historical figures associated with them.
The Houses They Built: A Walking Tour of Architects and Builders - This 45-minute tour takes visitors around the suburban areas of Springfield with stops at the Dana-Thomas Home, the Executive Mansion, and the Lincoln Home Historic Site neighborhood. Visitors will learn the history behind the architects and builders who created some of Springfield’s more famous homes, the people who lived in them, and their greater significance to the city and history.
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.
Five and Eight Mile 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 Dana-Thomas House, First Black Fire House, Lincoln Home, Old State Capitol, Lincoln Tomb and others. Information will be provided at stops along the route. The eight-mile round trip ride will take about two hours. Helmets are required, and a water bottle is recommended.
1908 Race Riot Walking Tour - Forty-three years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and just six months before his 100th birthday, many of his hometown African American friends and their descendants’ lives were turned upside down by racial hate and economic jealousy during the Springfield 1908 Race Riot. This hour-long tour will discuss a portion of the devastating 1908 Race Riot.
Black History Walk – This 90-minute walk through Oak ridge Cemetery focuses on the history of Springfield’s Black community, discussing great tragedies as well as stories of success in the face of severe adversity and prejudice. Water and hiking shoes recommended. Presented with the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum.
Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Drawing Tour – This one-hour, one-mile tour using hands-on activities is a walk into the Aristocracy Hill neighborhood to explore the development of Wright’s iconic architectural style. Learn about his childhood experiences then ultimately, the design of the Dana-Thomas House (1902-1904) and other prairie homes. Guests of all ages will develop and understanding of the basic principles of organic architecture as they learn to design like Frank Lloyd Wright. Please note, this tour only explores the exterior of sites.
Designing for Change Women’s History Walk – Walk the path of suffragists and learn how Susan Lawrence Dana collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home in which she advanced her ideas about democracy. The one-hour 1.5-mile walking tour will discuss the relationship between Wright’s Springfield project and the path to suffrage for Illinois women. Please note, this tour only explores the exterior of sites.