Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park
10149 County Hwy 11, Chandlerville
A 26 square mile tract of gently rolling countryside is home to this park and is one of the state’s largest public access areas at over 16,000 acres. It is a mixture of mature forest land (6,000 acres of timber), agricultural land (4,200 acres) and grassland. It is home to white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ring-necked pheasant and mourning dove. There are three lakes and several ponds, picnic areas, 24 miles of mountain bike trails, 26 mile equestrian trail, an archery range and a peaceful place to walk, kayak, fish or just relax.
New Salem Loop Hiking Trails
15588 History Ln, Petersburg
Explore the natural side of New Salem State Historic Site, a reconstructed historic village where Abraham Lincoln lived six formative years. Around New Salem, there are numerous hiking trails throughout the park, one which travels through forest along Rocky Branch before dipping to cross IL 97. You then climb steeply up Cardinal Ridge and meander back down to the shore of the Sangamon River. Travel through bottomland and along hills on a section of old Pritchettville Road. The hike crosses back over IL 97 and climbs to the trailhead, which is located at the entrance to the historic village. Look for trailheads in the New Salem State Park parking lot as well as across the highway to enjoy the various trails.
Mountain Biking Trail
Across from New Salem Entrance-Petersburg
The 3.8-mile single-track trail is challenging, scenic and physically demanding but a less experienced biker can the the one-mile loop, Cardinal Ridge Trail. The trail begins on a low grade, winding through autumn olive shrubs and a shady, hardwood forest canopy that provides food and cover for wildlife and at one point skirts the Sangamon River. There are sharp elevations and descents and two stream crossings along the way. The trailhead for both trails are on Hedrick Street between Pritchetville Road and Boy Scout Trail on the east side of Illinois 97, across from the entrance to New Salem.