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Historic Areas & Sites in Illinois

Visit the many historic sites in Illinois, from the Land of Lincoln, to the site of an ancient Native American city at Cahokia Mounds.

Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area


Lincoln comes to life in Illinois with hundreds of historic Lincoln sites throughout the state. See where this legendary president lived, worked and made history.

A boat going down the river and a man walking a Mule down a path

Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area


The Illinois & Michigan (I & M) Canal connects Lake Michigan to the Mississippi. When the I & M Canal was built, it linked New York to New Orleans, and established Chicago as a major hub of trade and commerce. The Canal is now a 100-mile-long national heritage corridor, where you can walk, cycle, fish, kayak, ride on a replica 1840 canal boat and discover the towns along the way.

Joliet, Lockport, Lemont & Small Towns of the I & M Canal

Joliet, Lockport and Lemont offer a fascinating insight into the history of the canal, from Joliet’s industrial heritage to picturesque Lemont with its downtown boutiques. The three towns are within a few miles of each other, and all have local history museums. Explore their downtown areas on foot or walk a section of the canal trail. 

Small towns have popped up all along the famous I & M Canal with quaint shops and antique stores, historic homes and tons of charm. Home to some of the best state parks in Illinois, Ottawa and Utica offer amazing opportunities to explore the Canal from the great outdoors. Follow the trail all the way to Starved Rock State Park.

A large historic tower
The historic cahokia mounds near collinsville

Lewis and Clark & The Cahokia Mounds


The Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford commemorates the camp where their historic Midwest to Pacific Ocean adventure began. Main attractions include a 14,000-square-ft. interpretive center and an outdoor replica of the Camp River Dubois structure.

Just south of Hartford, beneath the ground of Collinsville, lies the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. The Cahokia Mounds UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 2,200-acre tract housing the remains of the pre-Columbian Native American city of Cahokia.

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