The McDonald Family Trail (Blue)

The Ward & Diana McDonald Family Trail runs through some of the highest quality oak-hickory upland forest in central Illinois and has unique high vantage point views of the Sangamon and its surrounding bottomland forest. Beginning at the Lost Garden Parking lot, follow the main trail as it makes its way toward the Sangamon River.

Sangamon River from the bluffs

On the way to the river take notice of the oak/hickory forest surrounding the trail and keep an eye out for forest flowers. During spring time, many species of spring ephemeral flowers can be seen including mayapple and Virginia bluebells.

May Apples

As you reach the river and hike along, watch out for wildlife, including great-blue herons and beavers. From the bluffs, migrating species of birds, including many warblers and tanager species, can be seen flying in the tree tops during spring. As the river meanders out of view, the trail continues along the bluff and overlooks bottomland forest until the trail eventually shares its path with the Red Trail. After separating from the Red Trail, the Blue Trail continues back toward the Lost Garden Parking lot. On the way, keep an eye out for barred owls and white-tailed deer.

There are two sections of this trail that share the path with other trails, the Red and Green Trail.Be sure to use the map placards and map brochures to find your way so you do not miss out on this unique part of the Allerton Park Natural Areas.