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At this 108-acre reserve, LCF planted 25,000 trees, restoring a farm field to its natural, wooded state. This renewed floodplain forest is a natural water filter, helping ensure a healthy river and a clean water supply.


Hike to the Sangamon River on the raised Bruce Hannon Levee Trail. The reserve offers birding, fishing, and nature study.



Take a guided tour with fun facts for all ages using the Prairie State Hike App.

Hikers on LCF Bruce Hannon Levee Trail at Sangamon River Corridor Reserve
Winter at LCF Sangamon River Corridor Reserve
Children with caterpillar at LCF Sangamon River Corridor Reserve
Spring wildflowers and flooding at Sangamon River Corridor Reserve


Bruce Hannon Levee Trail

2.3 miles (1.7-mile loop + 0.3-mile approach)


Rustic trail; please read safety information before visiting


Open sunrise to sunset, year-round


108 acres

59-acre floodplain forest restoration

Monticello, IL, in Piatt County

On Allerton Rd, just south of the Monticello Golf Club

Latitude and Longitude: 40.020800, -88.585096


Take I-72 toward Monticello.

Take exit 164 onto Bridge St; turn toward Monticello.

At the stoplight, turn right on Market St.

At the stop sign (McDonald’s), turn right on Marion St.

At the stop sign, turn left on Allerton Rd.

In 0.3 miles, the gravel parking lot is on your right (just past the Monticello Golf Club).

Trail Cam Critters


Night and day, there's plenty of wildlife action on our Levee Trail! Our trail camera has captured casual coyotes, hardworking beaver, young raccoons, jumping mice, and much more.

For Your Safety: Flooding Risk


PLEASE USE CAUTION! There are potential hazards on the levee trail, especially after storm effects, when flooding occurs. There is no guarantee of your safety. You are welcome to access Land Conservation Foundation lands at your own risk.


If water is rising, turn around, don’t drown! The trail could be flooded by the time you leave, trapping you on the trail.


If water is flowing over the trail, turn around, don’t drown! Just one foot of rushing floodwater can move a car.

Flooding over levee trail at Sangamon River Corridor Reserve
Flooding Safety

History & Significance

The Sangamon River

From its beginnings, LCF has focused on rivers because:

  • The river replenishes. The Sangamon helps recharge the Mahomet Aquifer, a vital source of drinking water for 800,000 people.

  • The river is rich. Sections of the Sangamon are on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, for their rich diversity of aquatic life. Seventeen species of freshwater mussels have been found here, along with the unique mudpuppy salamander, which is on the Illinois Threatened species list.

  • The river is threatened. The upper reaches of the Sangamon are being developed.

History of the Floodplain and Levee Trail

In November 2012, LCF purchased 108 acres to create the Sangamon River Corridor Reserve, where 59 acres of former farmland is being restored to natural floodplain forest.


Levees that kept the farmland from flooding were preserved to create the Bruce Hannon Levee Trail. To allow water back into the floodplain, LCF added culverts through the levees, plus a weir to let high water pass over the levee top. This restores the benefits of the wetland, which holds and filters water, replenishing groundwater and returning clean water to the river.

LCF volunteers planted the floodplain with thousands of native trees such as bitternut hickory, sycamore, and walnut, along with shingle, bur, and swamp white oak.

Ongoing maintenance of the culverts and trail is required to preserve this unique opportunity to experience the river and floodplain up close in all seasons.


Wonderful Wildlife Habitat

Wetlands provide excellent wildlife habitat. The river otter and bobcat have been seen on our trail cam here, along with beaver, coyote, and owls! The forest supports protein-rich insects, which provide essential food for birds during nesting and migration. You may spy a flash of red here — the head of the pileated woodpecker, North America's largest woodpecker.

A Corridor Keystone

This reserve is the keystone in LCF’s larger vision of a continuous corridor of protected land, stretching across Monticello from Allerton Park to Lodge Park. Larger areas of connected habitat are essential to wildlife health by increasing genetic diversity.

Thanks to Our Project Donors and Supporters

Outreach to landowners was funded by $60,000 in grants from Archer Daniels Midland Company and the Robeson Family Foundation, plus a $1,000 grant from the Champaign Soil and Water Conservation District.

Land purchase was made possible by $160,000 in private gifts and a $455,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Additional supporters include:


Champaign Asphalt

City of Decatur

City of Monticello


Illinois Clean Energy Commission

Kennedy Hutson Associates

Piatt County Forest Preserves

Trees Forever

LCF Volunteers

Help LCF connect natural lands and ensure a healthy future for our water and wildlife.

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