Trail points out links to Lincoln
New state Heritage Trail touts Abraham Lincoln's ties in tourism promotions tied to the 16th president's bicentennial birthday celebration. 100,000 maps are being distributed.


May 14, 2008

ELIZABETHTOWN — The power of networking will help tell Abraham Lincoln's Kentucky story — a narrative that is expected to reach a wide audience the next two years during his bicentennial birthday celebration.

State history officials Wednesday talked to locals with Abe tourism ties about the new Heritage Trail.

Two of the route's 27 interpretive signs — the Lincolns' Route to Indiana and his Hardin County Connections — will be installed in Hardin County. Lincoln was born 199 years ago in what is now LaRue County.

Karen Keown, economic development coordinator for the Kentucky Heritage Council, said Elizabethtown can draw tourists off Interstate 65 and, after visiting the County History Museum for instance, staff there would direct them to a site somewhere else in the state — and so on.

Organizers are distributing 100,000 of the maps across Kentucky. To help spark interest in the route, the maps will be stamped at each stop and the state may offer travelers rewards for doing so.

Since research has shown people would want their trips arranged along themes, the trail sites are broken down into three categories: birth, boyhood and ancestors; emancipation and Civil War; and family and friends.

This web of northcentral Kentucky locales is on the Web at Internet surfers can read about each site, see pictures, get directions and learn about other historical points of interest in each area.

Gov. Steve Beshear kicked off the program in Hodgenville during an icy Feb. 12 birthday commemoration. The trail is a revision of a 1960s array of penny-like signs throughout Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana — but the new one is just for this state.

While the American Petroleum Institute funded the '60s route, the new one was touted Wednesday as a way to save gas for Kentuckians who'd rather not leave the state because of high fuel prices.

The trail as part of a bigger push during the bicentennial to strengthen Abe's ties to this state.

"What's our goal?" asked Warren Greer, statewide coordinator of the Lincoln bicentennial in Kentucky. He answered himself: "Kentucky-Lincoln, Kentucky-Lincoln."

John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746, or at

This story, written by John Friedlein, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at


Elizabethtown Lincoln sites listed on the Heritage Trail map:
The Lincoln Heritage House
Hardin County Museum
Helm Cemetery
Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln Memorial