RiverBank Lodge is an excellent location for accessing a wide range of nature-based activities. Menard County offers something to please to just about everyone.

Abe’s River Race
This annual Canoe & Kayak event has a variety of competitive and fun Lincoln-themed categories. RiverBank Lodge typically serves as a registration center, and is located near the race end-point, where racers, friends, and family can come together for outdoor refreshments, and an awards ceremony. See the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail Association for details!

New Salem State Historic Site and Park
Located just a couple miles from our Lodge, New Salem is best known as the home of Abraham Lincoln during an important phase of his life. Guests enjoy the walking and/or biking trails that surround the 750 acre historic site. There is also a Sangamon River access point convenient for kayaking or canoeing.   New Salem includes a campground with or without electrical hookups.
Learn more about New Salem on our Historical Attractions section.

Abe's River Race and Water Sports in Menard County, Illinois

Menard County Event Calendar

Always check www.VisitMenardCounty.com to keep up to date on all the local parks, restaurants, breweries, wineries, shopping and more! 

Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Preserve
This 16,500 acre tract of land located in nearby Chandlerville, IL is set aside to preserve the natural environment and offers many nature-based activities. Some of these include hunting, hiking (24 miles of trails), fishing, horseback riding trails (26 miles), biking (24 miles of mountain bike trails, 10 miles of paved biking trails), dark sky parties, and various other activities.

Visitors will find it useful to download the official trail map or visit the official JEPC website.

The Emiquon Preserve
The 7,000 acres of levied farmland was purchased in 2000 by the Nature Conservancy with the goal of restoring the land to its condition when the European settlers discovered the area.  It was one of the richest fish and wildlife habitats in the U.S.  The staff at the Emiquon office can explain this restoration process which has already resulted in increased traffic of migrating birds of numerous species.

You can visit their website here .

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge
Nearly 5,000 acres of carefully managed wetlands, floodplains and backwater lake habitat serve as an important resting stop for millions of migrating birds. The research station has carried on the study of several bird species and river ecosystems for over 125 years. Migratory water fowl, shorebirds, bald eagles, cranes and even pelicans are only part of the hundreds of species to be seen in the area. Chautauqua, along with its immediate neighbor Emiquon have been designated as a Globally Important Birding Area.

You can visit their website here .

Starhill Forest Arboretum
Guy Sternberg, owner and operator of the nearby Starhill Arboretum, is a renowned landscape architect, arborist, tree consultant, writer, lecturer, and photographer. This private research arboretum is available by appointment only and generally to groups.  Visit their web site at www.starhillforest.com

A copy of his “Native Trees for North American Landscapes” is available in our library.