An Abraham Lincoln reenactor interacts with a group of visitors at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail

  • Bourbon, Horses & History
  • Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone
  • Western Waterlands
Approx. 2-3 Days

Abraham Lincoln lived in Kentucky for the first seven years of his life, and that period left a lifelong impression on the future leader.

This trail traces the roots of Lincoln and his family throughout the Bluegrass State, from the homes of his parents and future wife to Civil War battlefields, sites and museums that preserve the stories and memorabilia from his accomplished life.

Explore the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail

abraham lincoln birthplace national historical park photo

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

2995 Lincoln Farm Rd.
Hodgenville, KY 42748

lincoln knob creek farm marker photo

Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek

7120 Bardstown Rd.
Hodgenville, KY 42748

located in historic downtown, hodgenville, kentucky. photo

The Lincoln Museum

66 Lincoln Square
Hodgenville, KY 42748

lincoln homestead state park photo

Lincoln Homestead State Park

Lincoln Homestead State Park
5079 Lincoln Park Rd.
Springfield, KY 40069

old fort harrod state park photo

Old Fort Harrod State Park

100 S. College St.
Harrodsburg, KY 40330

mary todd lincoln house photo

Mary Todd Lincoln House

578 W. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507

lincoln memorial at waterfront park photo

Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park

Waterfront Development Corporation
129 E River Road
Louisville, KY 40280

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Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

P.O. Box 296
1825 Battlefield Rd. (KY 1920)
Perryville, KY 40468

camp nelson national monument (national park service) photo

Camp Nelson National Monument (National Park Service)

6614 Danville Road Loop 2
Nicholasville, KY 40356

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Farmington Historic Home

3033 Bardstown Rd.
Louisville, KY 40280

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White Hall State Historic Site

500 White Hall Shrine Rd.
Richmond, KY 40475

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Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

120 Sycamore Rd.
Lexington, KY 40502

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Kentucky State Capitol

700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601

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Hardin County History Museum

201 W. Dixie Ave.
Elizabethtown, KY 42701

thomas d. clark center photo

Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

100 W. Broadway
Kentucky Historical Society
Frankfort, KY 40601

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Long before Abraham Lincoln became one of the preeminent leaders in American history, he spent his earliest years in Hodgenville, and his family had roots all around Kentucky. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is home to the First Lincoln Memorial, which houses a replica of Lincoln’s birth cabin.

Children climb the steps at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek

Of his boyhood home, Lincoln said, “My earliest recollection is of the Knob Creek place.” Located just 10 miles from his birthplace, the Knob Creek farm was the home of the Lincoln family from 1811 to 1816. Here, a young Abraham would help gather wood, carry water, and go fishing in the stream; it was also where he first saw African Americans in bondage. 

Lincoln Museum

A series of life-size dioramas, period artifacts, and a superb collection of wax figures brings to life the major events in Abraham Lincoln's life. From the "Cabin Years" to "Ford's Theatre" and the years between, visitors of all ages enjoy this close-up experience with one of the world's greatest leaders. The Lincoln Museum is three miles north of Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace National Historical Park and seven miles west of Lincoln's Boyhood Home at Knob Creek. The Museum galleries include civil war memorabilia, a collection of original Lincoln art, a funeral train exhibit and more. 

Inside Lincoln Museum wax figures

Lincoln Homestead State Park

Lincoln’s parents, Thomas and Nancy, both spent much of their childhoods in Central Kentucky. This state park explores those roots, showcasing Nancy’s girlhood home, replicas of Thomas’ boyhood cabin and blacksmith shop, and the home of Abraham’s favorite uncle, Mordecai Lincoln. There is also an 18-hole golf course, with splendid vistas of lakes and rolling countryside.

Interior of a historic cabin at Lincoln Homestead State Park

Old Fort Harrod State Park

Lincoln Marriage Temple at Old Fort Harrod State ParkOne of Kentucky’s most significant historic sites, Old Fort Harrod State Park centers around a replica of Kentucky’s first permanent settlement. The park’s Mansion Museum houses Confederate and Union rooms filled with newspapers, firearms, photographs and other Civil War artifacts. You can also view the Lincoln Marriage Temple, the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln’s parents were wed in 1806. 

Mary Todd Lincoln House

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln grew up in the heart of downtown Lexington, and you can learn all about her fascinating life before, during and after her time in the White House, at her beautifully preserved childhood home. 

Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park

On a beautiful spot overlooking the Ohio River, Abraham Lincoln sits beneath a tree in contemplation. This sculpture by renowned Louisville artist Ed Hamilton was dedicated in the summer of 2009 in honor of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. Surrounding Lincoln are bas reliefs with text exploring Lincoln’s early life in Kentucky, his growing political awareness, and his views on slavery and the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln Statue at Waterfront Park

Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

The Battle of Perryville was one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, and left more than 7,600 soldiers killed, wounded or missing. At more than 1,000 acres, it is the largest battlefield in Kentucky, and one of the most unaltered in the nation. Take a self-guided tour of the battlefield, and visit the museum to learn the story of the Confederacy’s last major attempt to gain possession of Kentucky.

Civil War reenactors line the Battle of Perryville historic site

Camp Nelson National Monument

One of Kentucky’s most historically and culturally significant places, Camp Nelson was the third-largest recruiting and training depot in the nation for African-American soldiers during the Civil War. The camp supplied the Union with more than 10,000 African-American soldiers, and eight United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiments were organized here. 

Today you can explore interpretive trails, forts, officers’ quarters, cemeteries, replica barracks, an Interpretive Center and more.

African American Civil War reenactors stand before a historic structure at Camp Nelson National Monument

Farmington Historic Home

Farmington is the historic home and plantation site of John and Lucy Speed, completed in 1816. Farmington was a thriving 550-acre hemp plantation powered by the labor of nearly 60 enslaved African Americans who lived in cabins on the property. In the summer of 1841, Abraham Lincoln visited Farmington for three weeks, and had enduring relationships with the Speed family during his presidency. The property includes a visitor center with an exhibit room that interprets the plantation's history.

Exterior of Farmington Historic Home

White Hall State Historic Site

This Italianate mansion was the home of Cassius Marcellus Clay, an emancipationist, politician, Ambassador to Russia and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. The home has been immaculately restored and features period furnishings that offer a glimpse of upper-class life in Kentucky during the 1860s. 

White Hall State Historic Site

Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate

A magnificent antebellum plantation home on the outskirts of Lexington, Ashland was built by U.S. statesman Henry Clay and served as his home until his death in 1852. One of the most influential politicians of the 19th century, Clay was Abraham Lincoln’s political mentor, and in Lincoln’s words, “my beau ideal of a statesman.” 

Kentucky State Capitol

The current Kentucky State Capitol was built between 1904 and 1910 using $1,000,000 in reparations from the federal government for damage sustained in the Civil War and for Kentucky’s services during the Spanish-American War. Inside the ornate rotunda, you can see statues of two prominent Civil War leaders – Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, who were both born in Kentucky less than one year and 100 miles apart. Pick up a Capitol Building and Capitol Rotunda walking tour brochure to learn more about the Capitol’s Civil War history.

Hardin County History Museum

This museum tells the stories of Hardin County from its early Native American inhabitants to pioneers to the present day. You can also learn about the county’s Civil War involvement, and explore extensive stories of Lincoln, his family and friends.

Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

As the headquarters of the Kentucky Historical Society, this is a great place to ground yourself in Kentucky’s Civil War history. Be sure to see Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch, one of the museum's most famous exhibits

Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch
A horse-drawn carriage travels a historic dirt road at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Explore More Kentucky Heritage Trails

Explore More History & Heritage in Kentucky