Dipping a paddle into its current or glimpsing a great blue heron skimming its surface makes it easy to see why the Sangamon River is one of the jewels of the Macon County Conservation District. During its 1 ½ mile course through Rock Springs Conservation Area, the river flows through woodlands of upland oak and hickory and floodplains of maple and willows, providing food, shelter and nesting spots for a wide variety of wildlife.
Bass, bluegill, crappie, and the primitive longnose gar swim in its waters. Beaver, mink and muskrats thrive in the varied habitats of the river’s ecosystem. Wood ducks, little green herons and kingfishers are just a few of the birds that ply the river for food.
Rising in McLean County, the river runs some 240 miles westward through Central Illinois and joins the Illinois River near Beardstown. The river has coursed through the history of the region’s people, too, providing drinking water, food, irrigation, transportation, and recreation.