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Walk, Hike, Bike and History

Riding bikes in Springfield Illinois
Lincoln's Tomb

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 2021. 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 include:

  • 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.

  • Wakling in Oak Ridge Cemetery
  • History BikeTour - 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 two 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 - 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 descendant’s 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 that destroyed and affected the lives of many of Abraham Lincoln’s African American friends and their descendants. Comfortable walking shoes and water recommended.

  • Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Drawing Tour - one-hour, one-mile tour using hands-on activities and a walk into the Aristocracy Hill neighborhood to explore the development of Wright's iconic architectural style, from his childhood experiences through the design of the Dana-Thomas House (1902-04) and other prairie homes. Guests of all ages will develop an 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.

Schedule

Spring Weekly Schedule

Day
TimeEventStart/End LocationMake a Reservation
Tuesday10:00 a.m.Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Drawing TourBegins/Ends Dana House Courtyard Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Reservation
Wednesday10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Friends of Lincoln Hike at Oak Ridge CemeteryBegins/Ends at Lincoln Tomb Friends of Lincoln Hike Reservation
Wednesday10:00 a.m. - noonHistory Bike Tour—8 milesBegins/Ends State Capitol Visitor Center 8 Mile History Bike Tour Reservation
Wednesday1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.History Bike Tour 5 Houses—5 MilesBegins/Ends State Capitol Visitor Center 5 Mile, 5 Houses Bike Tour Reservation
Thursday10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.1908 Race Riot Walking TourBegins/Ends at Old State Capitol 1908 Race Riot Walking Tour Reservation
Thursday1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Military History Hike at Oak Ridge CemeteryBegins/Ends at Lincoln Tomb Military History Hike Reservation
Friday10:00 a.m. - noonEight-mile Bike TourBegins/Ends State Capitol Visitor Center 8 Mile History Bike Tour Reservation
Friday10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Drawing TourBegins/Ends Dana House Courtyard Design Like Frank Lloyd Wright Reservation
Friday1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.History Bike Tour 5 Houses—5 MilesBegins/Ends State Capitol Visitor Center 5 Mile, 5 Houses Bike Tour Reservation
Friday1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Designing for Change Women’s History WalkBegins/Ends Dana House Courtyard Women's History Walk Reservation
Friday3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Black History Walk at Oak Ridge CemeteryBegins/Ends at Lincoln Tomb Black History Walk Reservation
Saturday10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.1908 Race Riot Walking TourBegins/Ends at Old State Capitol 1908 Race Riot Walking Tour Reservation
Saturday3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Friends of Lincoln Hike at Oak Ridge CemeteryBegins/Ends at Lincoln Tomb Friends of Lincoln Hike Reservation

Illinois Old State Capitol in Springfield

Individuals or groups can visit the IDNR webs http://historicspringfield.dnr.illinois.gov/ to learn more and make reservations, or call (217) 524-3971 to inquire about additional days and times. Scheduled tours will begin in mid March and continue through mid November 2021.