Historic National Road Scenic Byway
The National Road is called the “road that built the nation” because it was the first highway in American history. Today the National Road in Illinois covers 164 miles, from Marshall and the Wabash Valley, to East St. Louis and the Mississipi River.
Spread throughout this area located about 13 miles southeast of Vandalia, are a variety of businesses run by Mennonite families. A country store, several repair shops and other services, greenhouses, produce and baked goods sellers and even a blacksmith can be found here. For a brochure and map, call 618-283-2728.
The oldest Illinois State Capitol building is Federal-style architecture. At the top of the staircase are the Senate and House of Representatives where Abraham Lincoln began his political career.
The park has over 1900 acres and offers hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding trails, snowmobile trails, walking trail, camping, picnicking and more. There are shelters and a cabin for rent. A small concession business is located in the park. A 13-mile horse trail are located at the north end alongside a campground for horses.
Ten storyboards depicting Abraham Lincoln’s early years as a legislator are installed around Vandalia. Find out about his early romance with Mary Owens, his first protest against slavery and many other little-known historical facts.
Items on display are from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm along with flags from 45 countries. Also here is a rare signed copy of Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – noon or by appointment.
On a large natural stone in the Park, you can see the trail reported to have been used by Abraham Lincoln and others as they traveled between Vandalia and Springfield, IL in the early 1800s. The Lincoln Trail is on the National Registry of Historic Places.