Lick Creek (Sangamon River)

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Lick Creek
Basin features
Main source Morgan County north of Waverly, Illinois
39°39′10″N 89°58′41″W / 39.6528266°N 89.9781644°W / 39.6528266; -89.9781644 (Lick Creek origin)
River mouth Confluence with Sugar Creek in Lake Springfield, Illinois
574 ft (175 m)
39°42′25″N 89°41′11″W / 39.7069959°N 89.6864883°W / 39.7069959; -89.6864883 (Lick Creek mouth)Coordinates: 39°42′25″N 89°41′11″W / 39.7069959°N 89.6864883°W / 39.7069959; -89.6864883 (Lick Creek mouth)
Progression Lick Creek → Sugar Creek → Sangamon → Illinois → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Physical characteristics
Length 30 mi (48 km)
GNIS ID 412056

Lick Creek is a 30.6-mile-long (49.2 km)[1] tributary of Lake Springfield and thus a tributary of the Sangamon River in central Illinois.[2] It drains a large portion of southwestern Sangamon County and a marginal adjacent fragment of southeastern Morgan County. The drainage of Lick Creek includes all of Loami, Illinois and part of Chatham, Illinois.[3]

Much of the Lick Creek drainage is intensely farmed arable land, with 460-acre (1.9 km2) of natural area enumerated here. When land parcels were condemned for Lake Springfield in the 1920s and 1930s, a large section of the lower Lick Creek bottomland was set aside as woodland to protect the lake's water quality. This 340-acre (1.4 km2) riparian zone was designated as the Lick Creek Wildlife Preserve by its owner, the Springfield, Illinois-based City Water, Light & Power, in 1991. According to Sangamon County, the watershed protection zone contains a notable grove of mixed sugar maples and chinkapin oaks. One chinkapin, located in Camp Widjiwagan, has been dated at more than 300 years of age.[4][5] In addition, a 120-acre (0.49 km2) creekside parcel, the Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary near Loami, has been redesignated for restoration as tallgrass prairie.

The Interurban Trail, a local bike trail, bridges the Lick Creek arm of Lake Springfield. The bridge area forms a local fishing hole.

The U.S. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) shows 12 streams bearing the name Lick Creek in Illinois.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed May 13, 2011
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lick Creek
  3. ^ Illinois Atlas and Gazetteer. Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping. 1991. ISBN 0-89933-213-7. 
  4. ^ "Sangamon County Regional Plan: May 2009" (PDF). Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  5. ^ Young, Chris (5 October 2009). "Carpenter Park loses 400-year-old tree". State Journal-Register.