7 Walk, Hike and Bike History Tours | Springfield, Illinois | Visit Springfield

Share this Blog

Springfield has an awesome, free way to explore Illinois' capital city in 2023! 

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, at a variety of locations throughout the city.  The program runs from May 3-November 15, 2023

Now let talk about the 7, yes 7 experiences that are waiting for you!

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 Tours 5-mile & 8-mile: 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.

Women’s History Walk 1840-1876Journey through downtown Springfield as we discuss the stories of early Illinois women who worked for the abolition of slavery and to secure civil rights for women and people of color. This one-hour, 1.5-mile walking tour begins at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center(?) and concludes at the Vachel Lindsay Home. Other stops include the Old State Capitol, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, and Illinois Governor’s Mansion. Please note we will not be touring the interiors of the sites

Women’s History Walk 1876-1920Walk the path of suffragists as we discuss the stories of several women who helped make Illinois the first state east of the Mississippi to guarantee presidential suffrage for women, while also advancing other social and civic causes. This one-hour, 1.5 mile walking tour begins at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center(?) and concludes at the Illinois State Capitol. Other stops include the Illinois Governor’s Mansion, Vachel Lindsay Home, and Dana-Thomas House. Please note we will not be touring the interiors of the sites.

All experiences are free, donations accepted and require registration.  Please visit the IDNR website here for a link to Eventbrite registrations and to learn more. 

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay up to date on all things Springfield