Macon County Conservation District Explore the Outdoors
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Sand Creek Conservation Area in Decatur, IL

Sand Creek Conservation Area is a 755-acres open space site, located just south of the City of Decatur off South Franklin Street [get directions]. Sand Creek's GPS Coordinates are 39.786696 N, 88.954273 W.

Sand Creek is primarily known for its hiking and horse trail that winds through forest, open prairie and floodplain. In addition to wildlife and natural habitat, part of the Paris – Springfield Road can be found passing through the grounds.

The Paris - Springfield Road

The historic Paris - Springfield Road , established in 1824, ran through part of what is now Sand Creek Conservation Area. Among the many people moving west in the early nineteenth century, Abraham Lincoln and his family traveled this section of the historic road when coming to Decatur from Indiana in March of 1830. The road continued in use by westward travelers to California and Oregon in the 1840s and 1850s. There are trail signs along the old roadbed for those who wish to walk in “Mr. Lincoln's footsteps.”

Horseback Riding Trails

The 7.6-mile horse trail winds its way through the varied habitats of the site, with six fords crossing parts of Sand Creek. The equestiran trail is ten feet wide and ten feet high. Eighteen limestone parking pads, measuring 10 feet by 40 feet, are located at the park entrance. Each pad includes a picnic table, grill and a hitching rack.

Equestrian Fees

Daily equestrian permits are available on site for $2.00 for non-residents of Macon County . Macon County residents may ride free of charge.

Annual bridal tags are available at the Macon County Conservation District headquarters at Rock Springs Conservation Area. These tags are $15.00 for non-residents of Macon County . Macon County residents are not required to purchase tags.


In February, volunteers are needed to help tap the Sugar Maple trees for sap. Natural and cultural history programs may be scheduled at the Sand Creek Conservation Area. Call 217-423-7708 for further information.


Today's Sunrise Sunset in Decatur, IL:
    Sunrise is at: 5:35 AM
    Sunset is at: 8:10 PM

What can you do at the Nature Center?

Visit Our Conservation Areas

Rock Springs Conservation Area
Friends Creek Conservation Area
Sand Creek Conservation Area
Griswold Conservation Area
Fort Daniel Conservation Area



The Macon County Conservation District invites you to visit the many natural areas in Macon County, Illinois, including Rock Springs Nature Center, which offers nature programs, special activities, nature hikes, summer camps, music programs, conference rooms for all ages throughout the year in Decatur, Illinois.
Macon County Conservation District
3939 Nearing Lane
Decatur, IL 62521
(217) 423-7708

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