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Discover the boyhood home of the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Among the rolling hills and thick forest, young Lincoln learned many life lessons. Lincoln State Park offers 10 miles of hiking trails, two scenic lakes, and an interpretive center to help you experience early life of settlers in southern Indiana. Your entire family can enjoy a relaxing time at one of the campgrounds, cabins or group cottages. Tour the Colonel Jones Home, the historic home of the merchant and Civil War officer who employed young Lincoln.
The 1,747-acre park was established in 1932 as a memorial to Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks. The Little Pigeon Creek Baptist Church and Cemetery, located on the property, is where Lincoln’s sister Sarah is buried.
The Civilian Conservation Corps, a national program designed to provide jobs for unemployed young men during the Great Depression, was instrumental in establishing the park’s recreational facilities. These include the CCC-built beautiful Lake Lincoln, Lakeside shelter, boat rental building (formerly a ranger cabin) and many trails.
Sarah Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve is located in the southernmost portion of the park. A visit to Lincoln State Park is like taking a step back in time to when the land was wild and Lincoln was a boy.
Camping - See campground maps under MAPS tab
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza
A public plaza honoring the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln and his years as a boy in Indiana opened in 2009 at Lincoln State Park. It consists of a large, bisected circular plaza. Visitors will first enter an area punctuated with limestone pedestals and interpretive signs signifying key milestones in Lincoln’s formative Indiana years between ages 7 and 21.
A central half-circle reminds visitors of young Abraham’s growth from a boy to a man. Visitors can move freely between the pedestals at any pace. The second semicircle provides a more intimate space for reflecting upon the man who led this nation. It will contain a twice-life-size bronze bust of Lincoln, accompanied by some of his quotes.
If like you like schedule a program for your group, please contact the park office.
DESCRIPTION OF HIKING TRAILS
Note: For trail locations, view the property map under the MAPS tab.
1. LAKE TRAIL (1.5 miles) EASY—Starts at the boat rental building (CCC ranger cabin) and goes around the south shore of the lake. This is one of the oldest remaining CCC ranger cabins in Indiana. A short-side loop leads to the fire tower (CCC built, 1935). The trail returns via the dam, back to the beach area.
2. JOHN CARTER TRAIL (2.1 miles) MODERATE—John Carter was a Lincoln family neighbor. This trail starts east of the gatehouse and proceeds through beautiful pines, past an old strip mine area before connecting with Trail 1 (Lake Trail) east of the campground. A short hop across S.R. 162 from the start of this trail is the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. Stop in and talk with the interpretive staff and tour the visitors center and “living farm.” Fee required.
3. SARAH LINCOLN GRIGSBY TRAIL (1.7 miles) Moderate—Running through the Sarah Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve, this is the park’s most pristine and unusual area. You may find many prairie plants unusual to the area. The dry upland forest has many steep slopes. Sarah, Abe’s older sister died at an early age during childbirth at a nearby homestead.
4. JAMES GENTRY TRAIL (3.7 miles) MODERATE— Takes you across (north of) S.R. 162 along the northern border of the property to the site of the James Gentry home. Abraham Lincoln worked at the Gentry store as a young man and the Lincolns slept their last night in Indiana at this location. A historical marker designates the site. Passing through mature forest, the trail returns south of S.R. 162 to the Howell Shelter. A short side trail takes you to the Weber Lake trail.
5. MR LINCOLN’S NEIGHBORHOOD WALK (1.7 miles) MODERATE—Young Abe spent many hours at the Gorden Mill waiting to mill grain. This trail branches off of Trail 1 at the picnic shelter just west of the beach. You will pass the Little Pigeon Primitive Baptist Church and the gravesite of Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, the Gorden Home and Mill sites. By connecting with Trail 1 on the south shore, you can continue around the lake. (Brochures available at the park office, Nature Center or box office.)
6. WEBER LAKE TRAIL (1.8 miles) EASY—This light to moderate hike takes you along the remnant of the Troy-Gentryville Road to Weber Lake. The 1.8-mile hike consists of old field succession stands of trees, a CCC pine grove, and the newly reclaimed Weber Lake. The lake is testimony to the reclamation efforts of the DNR and federal government. Weber Lake went from a “dead” lake to one that purifies water and supports a variety of wetland plant and animal species. You may walk the levee, scale the “high wall”, and look for reminders of the old mining days while viewing wildlife species.