Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuaries

A must for nature lovers is the Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center on the southeast shore of Lake Springfield. The terrain here is level so even unimproved pathways may be manageable by wheelchair in dry weather. There's also an accessible prairie trail. In fall the foliage is spectacular. The garden offers a trip back in time to the way the woods and prairie looked when Lincoln was a rail-splitter. By contrast, the Washington Park Botanical Garden has a variety of formal outdoor gardens and a glass conservatory. Its 5,000 plant rose garden is the largest in Central Illinois. A popular attraction for kids is the Henson-Robinson Zoo with more than 300 wild animals from Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America on display. It also has a small petting zoo.