About the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy
The Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy was incorporated as a Non-Profit, Charitable Organization on March 10, 2017, by Herman L. (Bud) Altman, Jr and Stephen L. Turner.
The Lincoln Prairie Trail is a 14.8mile asphalt paved bike/hike rail-trail, connecting the cities of Pana and Taylorville. It provides a unique opportunity for Christian County residents, as well as visitors to exercise in a safe, biologically diverse area surrounded by fresh air and bountiful wildlife. Located in a part of Illinois steeped in Lincoln history, the Trail allows its users to travel along the exact same route that Mr. Lincoln traveled during his years of traveling the 8th Judicial Circuit as an attorney, and later as a judge.
We are trail users. Knowing the history of the trail, we feel that a non-government advocate is needed; a group whose focus is to do whatever it can to ensure viability of this wonderful community asset. This long-term challenge is reflected in our Mission Statement.
As an ADVOCATE for the trail, we are all volunteers, and always working for ways to help the trail owner(s) make it better.
We are NOT the trail’s owners or operators. Currently, the entire trail is owned by the City of Pana. When the new bridge over the Flat Branch of the South Fork opens, Taylorville will own the portion from the Northern end (Paw Paw Street) to the Owaneco city limit and Pana will retain the other 8 miles. At that time, our focus will change, but our mission will not.
Our initial concern is the condition of the trail’s surface. The typical life expectancy of an asphalt surface is 20 to 25 years. Our trail was opened in 2001. Parts of it need immediate attention, but other parts are in better shape, considering age. We are working to improve the condition of the trail by cleaning and filling cracks, cutting out and resurfacing areas where tree roots have cracked and pushed up the asphalt, and applying sealer to the repaired areas.
The trail also has several non-surface issues, needing attention; signage, an unpaved area, and a lack of some amenities common to most bike/hike trails, just to name a few. We are working to alleviate these challenges.
The Conservancy is seeking donors/sponsors to help fund our effort. We are a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization, eager to work with philanthropic organizations, individuals, corporations, civic groups, governmental bodies, and anyone else who believes, as we do, that the Lincoln Prairie Trail is a shared community treasure that should be available to our children, grandchildren, and visitors to Central Illinois, well into the future.