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An ancient route runs through Illinois, marking the migratory path of herd animals such as bison who would have been accompanied by the native people who hunted them. It became one of the most important routes in the history of Illinois running from Kaskaskia to Fort Clark (Peoria). It was especially used by early pioneers to migrate north as well as being significant during the War of 1812. It was referred to as Edwards Trace shortly after Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards led rangers along its pathway to Fort Clark to take action against the warring Kickapoo.

Springfield "founder" Elijah Iles recalls in his memoirs "From Vandalia we followed the stakes and struck Gov. Edwards war trace... From this point we could see the timber of Sugar and Horse creeks, on the head waters of the Sangamon." Another Springfield pioneer, Zimri A. Enos wrote "The Old Indian Trail, Sangamon County, Illinois" which was taken from his papers and published after his death in Vol. 4 of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.

A 200-foot remnant of the trace can be found today in Lake Park at Lake Springfield on what was once a high ridge that overlooked the Sugar Creek. A historical marker commemorating the significance of this important landmark is located adjacent to the parking lot.

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