Southwest Indiana Birding Opportunities - Lincoln State Park

Lincoln State Park is located in north Spencer County, near the home site of Abraham Lincoln.

The park was established in 1932 and improvements were done by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Lincoln now consists of nearly 2000 acres and is adjacent to the 200-acre Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. The park is mostly second growth, lowland and upland forest with several groves of pines planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC). The Sarah Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve is on the south side of the property and includes about 20 acres of xeric upland forest. Lake Lincoln is about 58 acres of a fairly eutrophic lake built in the 1930s with mule teams and CCC money. The Nature Preserve trail (Trail 3) is the trail with the oldest trees.

Birders tend to head out on Trail 1 (Lake Lincoln Trail), and Trail 3 (Sarah Lincoln Woods Nature Preserve Trail), and Trail 6 (Weber Lake Trail.) Weber Lake is a reclaimed strip pit which attracts water birds, including rails, various duck species, herons and egrets.

Warblers, vireos and thrushes pour through the park in early and mid-May on their spring migration. Many of these species have been documented over the years with a good number of species nesting in the park. The park also boasts one of the first, if not the first, Mississippi Kite populations around. Regular sightings of the kites began in the early nineties and the species is still going strong in this area. Bald eagles and osprey tend to be visitors. We see the eagles mostly in the winter months and the osprey mostly during migration months. Many visitors are overjoyed by the number of woodpeckers in the park including pileated and red-headed. Carolina chickadees, various sparrows, finches and white-breasted nuthatches are common sights at the bird viewing area in the winter. Nighttime hikes will yield the calls of barred owls, great horned owls and the occasional screech owl.

eBird Hotspot Link:


Total Birding Time:
1 hour to all day

Best Times to Bird: 
Early-May and mid-September are the best times for the most numbers but eagle watching is best in the winter.


Address :
15476 N CR300 E
Lincoln City, IN 47552

Hours: 7 am to 11 pm
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Admission: Indiana State Park entrance fees apply. $7 in-state vehicles, $9 out of state vehicles. No gate fees on certain off-season days.
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at
Parking: Parking is available throughout the park.
Accessibility: Trail one is the most accessible trail.
Phone Number: (812) 937-1979

Written By: Michael Crews
Photo by: Shari McCollough