Lick Creek (Sangamon River)

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Lick Creek
Origin Morgan County north of Waverly, Illinois
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Mouth Confluence with Sugar Creek in Lake Springfield, Illinois
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Progression Lick Creek → Sugar Creek → Sangamon → Illinois → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Length 30 mi (48 km)
Mouth elevation 574 ft (175 m)
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. A 120-acre creekside parcel, the Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary near Loami, has been redesignated for restoration as tallgrass prairie.

In addition, 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]

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, 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Sangamon County Regional Plan: May 2009" (PDF). Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Young, Chris (5 October 2009). "Carpenter Park loses 400-year-old tree". State Journal-Register. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>