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Lincoln Park

1601 North 5th Street Springfield, IL 62702

Phone: 217-544-1751 ext. 1004

Hours: - CT

Park Info


Open Dawn to Dusk


  • Established 1905
  • Acres: 88
  • This is one of the historic parks, developed as termini of the urban trolley line in use at the time.
  • Its design and many features date back to its original development.
  • This park is bounded by black Avenue on the south, 5th Street on the east, Sangamon Avenue on the north, 1st Street then Oak Ridge and Calvary cemeteries on the west.
  • Surrounding the park are established residential neighborhoods as well as the State Fairgrounds to the northeast and Springfield College and Ursuline Academy High School to the southeast.
  • The site has relatively flat, open areas on the north and rolling, forested land on the west and south. It has a variety of passive and active recreational facilities. It is one of the heaviest used parks in the district.
  • Vehicular access is provided from each of the surrounding streets into the park, and internal loops provide access to several parking areas and recreational facilities. Pedestrians share the roadway and also use sidewalks within the park.
  • Flower beds and a fountain enhance the northeast frontage of the park. A street-tree arboretum is nearby.
  • Lincoln Park contains the greatest variety of sports-oriented facilities of any park in the district. The roadway network, trails and open space are used for walking, running, bicycling, training, and school district cross-country meets. The northern half of the park contains a soccer field, 6 ball diamonds with one lighted, 3 tennis courts, 3 shuffleboard courts and 21 horseshoe courts. Also in this area, the Nelson Recreation Center contains an outdoor swimming pool, 2 indoor ice rinks, rooms for special events, a concession area and restrooms. South of the building is a small bandstand, a picnic area with shelters and a large playground.
  • In the southern half of the park, the historic stone pavilion is sited prominently on a hillside. A small playground is nearby.
  • The historic stone bridge to the south spans a lagoon, creating a delightful location for pedestrian meandering, photography, etc. A disc golf course surrounds the lagoon and extends to the open meadow on the south. A second disc golf course is located on the North section of the park as well.
  • Having been named Oak Ridge Park and owned by the Springfield City Railroad Company it was sold to the newly formed Springfield Pleasure Driveway and Park District. It was first named North park but later changed to Lincoln Park with the adjacent cemetery housing Lincolns final resting place. In 1905 Lincoln Park was dubbed the prettiest drive in central Illinois. It was named after Present Abraham Lincoln who was from Springfield and the 16th president of the United States.

Rules & Regulations

Park Rules to Remember

  • Be courteous of others sharing your parks
  • Supervise children at all times
  • Playgrounds are “Kid Friendly Zones” where smoking is discouraged
  • Leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy & dispose of litter in proper receptacles
  • Vehicles watch your speed, stopping and signaling when driving around park zones
  • Vehicles left after park closing will be towed at owner’s expense

Code of Conduct

All park goers, facility patrons, and persons permitting park space for private events must adhere to the Springfield Park District’s Code of Conduct. For a complete list of this code, go to Gen_Use_Ord_Doc.pdf


Carry-in alcoholic beverages are prohibited in parks and facilities.
See Code of Conduct and Springfield Park District Ordinances for full outline.

Concealed Carry

Firearms are not allowed in Park District facilities or on Park District properties.


Drivers must use designated parking areas. However, if parking area is full, drivers are permitted to park along park district surface streets so long as at least two wheels remain on the paved street at all times.
Always be sure to lock your vehicle while in the park and keep your valuables stowed safely out of site!


Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, many of our ponds are stocked with bass and bluegill. Each year before the spring trout season, the Washington Park Upper Pond and the Southwind Park Pond are stocked with Rainbow Trout. A fishing license is required to fish in the State of Illinois. Additionally, an inland trout stamp is required to fish for trout.


Be SAFE and Have Fun when you take your dog out to our parks! REMEMBER:

  • Owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behavior of their dogs at all times.
  • Dogs must remain on a leash at all times.  Failure to follow could result in a $75 fine.
  • Owners must pick up after their dog.
  • Maximum of three dogs per handler.
  • Dogs must be licensed and vaccinated. Proof of current rabies vaccination and license is required upon request of police or animal control officer. Tags may serve as proof.
  • Aggressive dogs are not allowed. If your dog becomes unruly or plays rough, leash it and leave immediately.

Warning of Risk

Recreational activities/programs are intended to challenge and engage the physical, mental, and emotional resources of each participant. Despite careful and proper preparation, instruction, medical advice, conditioning and equipment, there is still a risk of serious injury when participating in any recreational activity/program.

Understandably, not all hazards and dangers can be foreseen. Depending on the particular activity, participants must understand that certain risks, dangers, and injuries due to inclement weather, slipping, falling, poor skill  level or conditioning, carelessness, horseplay, unsportsmanlike conduct, premises defects, inadequate or defective equipment, inadequate supervision, instruction or officiating, and all other circumstances inherent to indoor and outdoor recreational activities/programs exist. In this regard, it must be recognized that it is impossible for the Springfield Park District to guarantee absolute safety.

Photo/Video Disclaimer

On occasion, Springfield Park District staff may photograph or video participants during Park District programs, classes and events at our facilities, parks or outside locations. These photos may be used in our seasonal brochures, on our website and additional uses as the Springfield Park District deems necessary. If you do not wish to be photographed, please step away from the camera or notify the photographer.

Vandalism Alert

The Springfield Park District has experienced vandalism within several of its parks and buildings. We need your eyes and your help to stop these criminal acts. If you witness the act of vandalism please call the police immediately and report it by calling 911. If you notice graffiti and property damage in the parks or district buildings please call the Springfield Park District Police at 217-698-6030.

You may also make a report on the comment area on the website at springfieldparks.org or in the “Report Issue” button on the FREE Springfield Park District app. Any assistance from our residents would be greatly appreciated in reporting and putting an end to these crimes. The Springfield Park District will prosecute these senseless acts to the full extent of the law.

Feature Details

The Lincoln Park Bridge offers a great venue for a small wedding or senior pictures. Rentals at this venue are from 7:00am-10:30pm. Rentals begin at a 2 hour block of time and additional time can be added. 

The FitLot Fitness Park was established in 2019. It is on the south side of the park next to Lincoln Park Pavilion. The FitLot design is a purposeful combination of equipment elements that provides a fully functional community fitness space in a park setting.

Every effort is the result of a synergy of experiences and people. The Funshop program is no exception. It represents a culmination of over 40 years of work with children and families. As a company of people and collective hearts, the Funshop staff is proud to serve the Springfield community. Funshop is an exciting, early education program for parents and children “together.” It has been uniquely designed to provide the optimal one-on-one learning experience. The program offers a unique, play-based environment where parents and children can be interactively engaged in the wonderful world of learning. The foundation of the innovative Funshop experience is a firm belief that parents are not only a child’s first teachers but also his or her most trusted and influential educators.

There are a ton of tantalizing toys and interest areas that will capture your children’s imagination, strengthen their communication skills, exercise their decision-making skills and enhance their sensory motor skills. At least one parent, relative, or caregiver must accompany each child to every class.

The Nelson Center contains two indoor ice rinks, eight locker rooms, and two concession areas that are open to the public year-round. The Nelson Center houses the only two indoor ice rinks within a 60-mile radius and therefore serves as the home for most ice related programs, events, and activities in the area.

The Springfield Park District offers a variety of instructional classes and leagues designed to teach children and adults how to ice skate, figure skate, or play hockey. The Nelson Center also reserves weekly open skate time(s) to allow the community to enjoy public ice skating, youth under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult.  

The Franklin Room is located on the second floor of the Franklin P. Nelson Recreation Center. The 60'x40' room overlooks an NHL sized sheet of ice on one side while the other side leads out to a large balcony/sun deck that overlooks the Nelson Center Pool. This large area can be used for family reunions, wedding receptions, luncheons, meetings, and parties. Amenities include elevator access, second floor restrooms, and a full service kitchen with serving window.

Rentals begin at an hourly block of time and additional time can be added by the hour. A deposit fee is required at the time of purchase. Please see the fees listed for Resident and Non-Resident to find your rental price point. Access to additional amenities are available with the purchase of a daily admission pass.

Lincoln Park offers a wonderful playground with slides, swings and climbing features.

The Nelson Center Pool is a seasonal outdoor aquatic facility that is open during the summer months between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. It is supervised by professionally trained lifeguards that features a full service concession stand and locker rooms that provide a clean environment for everyone. Our twisted flume slide and separate wading pool will keep you coming back time and time again. Concession tables may be reserved for a nominal fee. It is is the perfect place to host your next birthday party, family reunion, graduation party, or company picnic!

Rentals for the Nelson Center Pool are daily. Please see the fees listed for Resident and Non-Resident rates. Access to additional amenities are available with the purchase of a daily admission pass.

Athletic Fields

Community members are welcome to utilize Park District fields and sport courts on a first come first serve basis. However, please be aware that priority will be given to affiliate groups and permitted field usage.  Individuals and/or teams interested in reserving a field or sport court should call for availability and guidelines for reservation or go to our online booking and reservations portal.  For questions?  Contact our Athletics Office: Sean Dickerson, Athletics Manager at 217-544-1012 ext. 1012 or Email him at sdickerson@springfieldparks.org.

All reservations for any of the Springfield Park District facilities or shelters must be submitted by individuals at least 18 years of age. All waitlist reservations are not guaranteed.

Shelter Info

Are you looking for a wonderful and affordable way to host your next outdoor celebration? Look no further...

The Springfield Park District has over thirty picnic areas and shelters throughout our parks located near playgrounds and ample green space. A permit is required for group picnics of 15 or more persons, so plan to get a permit for your next gathering, birthday party, picnic or family event!

Please review the available shelters for this park below.  Remember if you are planning an event, and inviting guests, you will want to check availability and permit the shelter for your specific date and times.

Lincoln Park Picnic Shelters


Picnic Area 1
Picnic area 1 has multiple uncovered tables for use just south of the little stage.


Picnic Area 2
Picnic area 2 has multiple uncovered tables for use just south of the tennis court and east of the little stage.


Picnic Area 3
Picnic area 3 has multiple uncovered tables for use just south picnic area 2


Shelter 4 - Amenity
Amenity Shelters have more than 2+ tables, power, restrooms and/or water access close at hand. This shelter is just off the parking lot, right next to the playground.


Picnic Area 5
Picnic area 5 has multiple uncovered tables and is west of the playground.


Picnic Area 6
Picnic area 3 has multiple uncovered tables for use just south of the Park Maintenance facility.


Shelter 7 - Amenity
Amenity Shelters are defined as larger covered picnic shelters having more than 2+ tables, power, restrooms and/or water access close at hand. This shelter has a brick structure with a fireplace.

While you may picnic at any of our parks for free, advanced reservations are strongly recommended to secure an area or shelter for your special occasions.  Click the button below to go to the Park & Picnic Rentals page for information on rental times, rules, fees and other important guidelines you'll need to permit a shelter or host a special event!


For a comprehensive list of all of the Parks and which ones host shelters, click on the Park Locations & Features "mini-guide" image below to download a PDF.