National Parks of Illinois

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There is currently two National Park Service Site in Illinois and 3 associated sites.

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Official National Parks of Illinois

  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site
  • Pullman National Monument

Associated sites of Illinois

  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
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Illinois

Illinois National Parks

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home and the surrounding area where Abraham Lincoln lived before becoming the 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln purchased this home in 1844 and is the only house he ever owned.  He lived here with his wife Mary Todd.  All four of his sons were born in this twelve room house.  The

In 1887, Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham’s son, The Lincoln Home National Historic Site was designated National Historic Landmarks on December 19, 1960

Pullman National Monument

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail follows the route Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took across the United States’ newly purchased territory.  The trail starts at Camp Dubois, Illinois and passes thru Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and ends in Washington.  The trail is a combination of auto, land and water routes.

The Lewis and Clark expedition started in May 1804 with the goal to find a practical route across the western region of North America. They were to lay claim to these lands to limit European expansion.  The expedition was a success.  Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana purchase and made it to the Pacific Ocean.  They recorded the plants, animals, and landscapes as they traveled.  They laid the foundations for future relationships with the American Indian tribes of the relationships.

The trail was established on November 10, 1978.  There are over 100 stops along the trail.

Photo Credit – NPS

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail follows the 1,300-mile route many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah.  Between 1846 and 1868, over 14,000 Mormons followed their leader Brigham Young west to build a new settlement.  From Council Bluffs, Iowa to Fort Bridger, Wyoming the Mormon Trail combines with the California and Oregon Trail.  The Mormons were forced out of their early settlements due to conflict with other settlers.

The trail runs through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah.  Today, the trail is mostly an autoroute.  The route stops in several other National Parks Sites such as Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Scotts Bluff National Monument and Fort Laramie National Historic Site.

Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail was established on November 10, 1978.

Photo Credit – NPS

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail follows the different routes members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations were forced to march for resettlement as part of the Indian Removal Act.  The Trail of Tears follows the four main routes from Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia thru Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas on their way to Oklahoma.

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail stands as a reminder of the horrific treatment the American Indians suffered at the hands of the U.S government.  It is estimated between 2,000 – 8,000 Cherokee died along the trail (that doesn’t include deaths of any of the other tribes or deaths in the Seminole wats).

Today, visitors to the Trail of Tears can drive any one of the four main auto routes and visit sites such as the Cherokee County Historical Museum, Brainerd Mission Cemetery,  Cherokee National Museum, and Fort Payne Cabin Site to learn more about the journey the American Indians were forced to make and the challenges they faced.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail was created in 1987.

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Jennifer Melroy

    Jennifer has been obsessed with national parks as a child.  This Tennessee native spent her childhood exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and traveling with her parents to National Parks and around the Caribbean.  She is always planning her next adventure and is ready to see the world while trying to visit all 59 National Park (*She is ignoring the hunk of concrete that just became a national park).

    Jennifer Melroy has 97 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Melroy

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