National Parks in Kentucky

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Location: Hodgenville, KY

For over a century people from around the world have come to rural Central Kentucky to honor the humble beginnings of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. His early life on Kentucky's frontier shaped his character and prepared him to lead the nation through Civil War. The country's first memorial to Lincoln, built with donations from young and old, enshrines the symbolic birthplace cabin.

Fees: There is no fee associated with visiting either unit of the park.

Hours Info: The Memorial Building is open 9:00 am - 4:30 pm eastern time with a limited viewing area. The Visitor Center and grounds of the Birthplace Unit are open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm eastern time with one-way traffic flow and social distancing. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek grounds are open daily sunup to sundown. The buildings are closed for the winter.

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Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Location: Oneida, KY,TN

Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.

Fees: There are no entrance fees for Big South Fork NRRA.

Hours Info: The park is always open.

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Camp Nelson National Monument

Location: KY

Established as a supply depot and hospital during the Civil War for the U.S. Army, Camp Nelson became a large recruitment and training center for African American soldiers (USCTs), and a refugee camp for their wives and children. Thousands of enslaved people escaped to this site with the hope of securing freedom and ultimately controlling their futures by aiding in the destruction of slavery.

Fees: No entrance fee is charged to visit the park.

Hours Info: The Camp Nelson Visitor Center and Museum are open Wednesday through Sunday. The Perry "White" House is under renovation and currently not open. The grounds, including nearly 5 miles of unpaved trails and dozens of wayside exhibits explaining the significance of Camp Nelson, are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. .

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Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Location: Middlesboro, KY,TN,VA

At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer... all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.

Fees: There are no entrance fees at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Hours Info: The park is open 24 hours a day to pedestrian and cyclists. Some services and facilities have separate hours, however; please see descriptions of those areas elsewhere.

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Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Location: Dover, KY,TN

Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant was becoming quite famous as he wrote these words following the surrender of Confederate Fort Donelson on Sunday, February 16, 1862. The Union victory at Fort Donelson elated the North, and stunned the South. Within days of the surrender, Clarksville and Nashville would fall into Union hands. Grant and his troops had created a pathway to victory for the Union.

Fees: Fort Donelson does not charge for entrance or interpretive fees.

Hours Info: Fort Donelson NB Visitor Center is open daily 9:00 am - 4:00 pm CST. Dover Hotel hours are 9:00 am - 4:00 pm CST daily. The park is closed Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. Hours change seasonally. The park tour route is open: Mid-March to Memorial Day: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm CST Memorial Day to Labor Day: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm CST Labor Day to Mid-October (Fall time change): 8:00 am to 6:00 pm CST Mid-October (Fall time change) to Mid-March (Spring time change): 8:00 am to 4:30 pm CST

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Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Location: Sixteen States: IA,ID,IL,IN,KS,KY,MO,MT,NE,ND,OH,OR,PA,SD,WA,WV

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 4,900 miles long, extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the preparatory section from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois.

Fees: Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters Visitor Center in Omaha, NE does not charge an entrance fee, but some of our park partners do. Be sure to check with each visitor and interpretative center to find out their fees.

Hours Info: Lewis and Clark NHT visitor center in Omaha, Neb is open.

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Mammoth Cave National Park

Location: Mammoth Cave, KY

Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the worlds longest known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life, earning it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Fees: Entry to Mammoth Cave National Park and its surface features is free of charge. There is, however, a charge to tour the cave. Cave tour prices vary.

Hours Info: Mammoth Cave National Park is open 24-hours a day, although services such as cave tours and the visitor center are limited after-hours (generally the visitor center closes at 4:30 pm in winter or 6:00 pm in summer). There is no gate at the park entrance. Please note that camping is only possible either in designated campgrounds or backcountry campsites with a valid reservation or permit.

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Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument

Location: KY

The Union won a significant victory early in the Civil War at The Battle of Mill Springs. Explore the rolling fields of Kentucky where the battle took place and learn about that state's strategic importance to both sides of the fight.

Fees: There are no fees associated with visiting the Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument.

Hours Info: The Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and is closed Monday and Tuesdays. The grounds and driving tour are open from dawn till dusk, seven days per week. When the Visitor Center is closed passport stamps with current date and driving tour guides are available outside to the left of the front door.

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Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail


Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.

Fees: There are NO USER OR ENTRY FEES fees for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. NOMINAL FEES may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Please visit Plan Your Visit / Places To Go for an interactive map and extensive list of places to visit by state. Contact information is available for each site to call and find out about fees.

Hours Info: OPERATING HOURS VARY FROM SITE TO SITE. There are many historic sites, museums, and parks (federal, state, and local) along the Trail of Tears in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma for you to visit. Please contact individual sites for more information by going to Plan Your Visit and selecting Places To Go or Passport Program, where sites are listed by state, and there is an interactive map to search for sites.

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National Parks in Kentucky