When asked what is the most well-known route in the State of Illinois, most will immediately think of Historic Route 66 and for good reason. Making its way diagonally across the state and through many communities including the town of Litchfield Illinois, the “mother road”, as it is sometimes called, tells the story of millions of Americans from the time of the Dust Bowl to today. While Route 66 is certainly one of the most historic and exciting, it is not the only one.
The Journey of Lewis is Clark Comes to Life in Illinois
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route which follows the historic trek across the country made by the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806. Beginning in Wood River, just an hour from Litchfield, the trail winds its way through 10 other states on its way to the mouth of the mighty Columbia River in Oregon. Along the way, the expedition faced harsh conditions, unexplored lands and the unknown all in the name of exploration.
Named one of the top 10 Scenic Drives in the country, it is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the historic “Louisiana Purchase”, the history of these brave explorers and the excitement of reliving the past. While there are hundreds of amazing sites and attractions along this over 3,000 mile route, any explorer in the Illinois area should begin first at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site and Visitor Center in Hartford.
Also known as Camp River Dubois, this popular site is considered to be the point of departure for the expedition that May day in 1804. Today, this historic site is home to a 14,000 square foot facility which helps to tell the story of that winter as they prepared for their expedition and the expedition itself. The first site on the Trail, it includes exciting exhibitions and galleries including a 55 foot full scale replica of the keel boat that Lewis and Clark used. Divided into galleries, each tells a certain part of the trip and about the exploration of other destinations around the world as well. From international trade routes to the settlement of the west and the experiences along the way, these galleries answer questions you may have or even those you may never have thought of before. During certain special events, visitors can even enjoy reenactments of parts of life at the camp as well including shooting competitions and blacksmithing, coopering, music and more.
Bill Bailey Litchfield Illinois
Litchfield is surrounded by historic sites and destinations dating back thousands of years. Make a day or a weekend of it and find out more about history when you visit the great state of Illinois.