• Recreation,  River Ramblings,  Upper Sangamon

    USRC Labor Day Float Trip Great Success

    This past Labor Day the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy hosted a group of river lovers on one of my personal favorite float trip routes. Like most of the USRC’s trips, this one was open for all with canoes and kayaks provided free of charge to any participant, first come, first served. We put in at the historic Hazen Bridge in rural Champaign County where County Road 2600N crosses the Sangamon River and ended 5 1/2 miles downriver at Champaign County’s Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. The Sangamon’s depth at the Fisher NOAA river gage registered 4.5 feet, which is really lower than I would recommend for this route. But…

  • Bicycling,  Recreation,  Upper Sangamon

    Biking in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed

    Originally posted Monday, August 18, 2014 on the River Blog, this excerpt is reprinted here with permission from Scott Hays. As much as I enjoy kayaking and canoeing, I also enjoy cycling the Sangamon Valley’s bike paths and county roads as they weave their way through forests, prairies, cornfields and crisscrossing the Sangamon River all the way. One of my favorite routes picks up the Lake of the Woods Bike Path at its eastern terminus at Prairieview Road and then I ride the trail west. This 3.3 mile trail is, in my humble opinion, one of our Sangamon Valley’s greatest assets. Riding this surprisingly hilly, curvy trail end to end takes me…

  • Bird Watching,  Lower Sangamon

    Birding Locales in the Lower Sangamon River Watershed

    Besides birds that can be seen and heard while floating on the river itself, birding is good at: Carpenter Park, Springfield Centennial Park, Springfield Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site , Petersburg — several miles of interconnected trails through forest and along Sangamon River. Lincoln’s New Salem H.S. is located about 2 miles south of Petersburg (map). Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield (Jim Edgar) Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area, with 16,550 acres of grassland and forest, three lakes, tributaries to the Sangamon River, and over 30 miles of trails, Panther Creek offers a fantastic variety of bird life.