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