• The First Lincoln Memorial

    Abraham Lincoln Birthplace

    National Historical Park Kentucky

Park Profile and Fact Sheet

Picture of the Boundary Oak Tree that marked the corner boundary of the Sinking Spring Farm that Thomas Lincoln purchased in the fall of 1808.

Park Profile and Fact Sheet

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is dedicated to preservation, commemoration, and interpretation of the resources associated with the birth and early years of our 16th President and the efforts of the Lincoln Farm Association and others in establishing a lasting tribute to Abraham Lincoln.


The park contains two units located within ten miles of each other. The Birthplace Unit represents Lincoln's humble beginnings with a symbolic cabin enshrined within a neo-classic Memorial Building. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek was home to Lincoln during his formative years. Lincoln's experiences as a young boy growing up in Kentucky helped mold him into the man who became the nation's 16th President.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Unit


The Birthplace Unit features 116 acres of the Lincoln family's Sinking Spring Farm. An early 19th century Kentucky cabin symbolizes the one in which Abraham Lincoln was born. The cabin is enshrined inside the Memorial Building at the site of his birth. The Birthplace Unit also includes the Sinking Spring, the site of the Boundary Oak tree, and the park's Visitor Center with exhibits and a film that is shown on the hour and half hour.


Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek


"My earliest recollection is of the Knob Creek place," wrote Abraham Lincoln on June 4, 1860. The Lincoln family lived on 30 rented acres of the Knob Creek Farm from the time Abraham was two until he was seven years old when the family left for Indiana. While serving as President, he recalled planting pumpkin seeds in the fields in every other hill and in every other row while others were planting corn. The following day a big rain in the hills flooded the creek and washed away their crops.


Establishment of the Park


Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park was established by the Lincoln Farm Association in the early 1900s. The site was donated to the federal government and became a national park on July 17, 1916. At that time it was called the Abraham Lincoln National Park.

The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek was established November 6, 2001, and is administrated by the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park. The site was formerly owned by the Howard family and operated as a tourist attraction from 1931 until 2001. In 2001 the site was purchased by the Preservation of Lincoln's Kentucky Heritage Inc. and donated to the National Park Service.


VISITATION:

Annual visitation to the park averages 200,000

Visitation is highest in June, July, and August.


LOCATION:

LaRue County, Kentucky


ADDRESS:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

2995 Lincoln Farm Road

Hodgenville, Kentucky 42748


TELEPHONE/ FAX and WEB :

(270) 358-3137

(270) 358-3874 Fax

http://www.nps.gov/abli


OPERATING HOURS, SEASONS:

Birthplace Unit: Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day: 8:00AM - 6:45PM. Remainder of the year: 8:00AM - 4:45PM (ET) Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.

Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek: Open year round from sunup to sundown. Staffed from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call for details. Both Units of the park operate on Eastern Time.


CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING:

Summers are hot and humid. Winters are moderately cold with variable precipitation. Recommend layers of clothing in fall and winter. Good walking shoes are suggested.


DIRECTIONS:

The Birthplace Unit is located approximately 3 miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky on U.S. 31E and KY 61. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek is located 8 miles north of Hodgenville along U.S. 31E.


TRANSPORTATION:

Nearest airport is in Louisville, KY about 65 miles north of the park. Rental cars are available at the airport or in Elizabethtown, KY about 12 miles for the Park. There is no public transportation in or near the park.


FEES, COSTS, RATES:

No fee is charged.


FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:


The Birthplace Unit has an information desk, exhibits, a 15 minute captioned orientation film, and a bookstore with educational materials located within the Visitor Center. Self guided walking tours provide access to the Memorial Building, which enshrines the symbolic cabin. The Sinking Spring, which served as the Lincoln family water supply, and the preserved site of the Boundary Oak Tree, which was used as a boundary marker and survey point for the Lincoln farm, are also accessible. A picnic area, with pavilion, is located on the East side of 31E. The restrooms in the picnic area are accessible.


The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek is open daily from sunup to sundown and staffed daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visitors have the opportunity to view a historical garden (summers only) and a replica log cabin. Self guided walks are available in the fields where Abraham once worked and played or hike the Overlook Trail.


NATURE TRAILS:

The Birthplace Unit has two trails; the Boundary Oak Trail is .3 miles located in the Visitor Center area, the Big Sink Trail is one mile long and located in the picnic area on the east side of US 31E. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek has the Overlook Trail, one and one-half miles long, plus several areas where visitors may walk through the open fields or woods of the farm.


PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES:

The Birthplace Unit offers guided walking tours between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Tours are self guided. Educational programs for schools and organizations are available with reservations. Teacher resources include a curriculum packet and/or traveling trunk, both are available by contacting the Birthplace Unit. The park's Junior Ranger Program is available for children ages 6 - 12.


LODGING AND CAMPING FACILITIES:

No commercial services in the park. The nearest lodging or camping is located in Elizabethtown, KY about 12 miles from the park or Bardstown, KY about 30 miles from the park.


FOOD, SUPPLIES:

Neither site carries any type of food service. Water is available at both units. Restaurants and grocery stores are located within 2 miles of the park in Hodgenville. Picnic sites are available at both units.


OTHER CONCESSIONS, NPS MANAGED VISITOR FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:

A bookstore with educational materials is located in the park's Birthplace Unit Visitor Center. More than 40 titles are available with special emphasis on Lincoln's childhood, adult life, and his presidency. There are also books about natural history, and official National Park Service handbooks and videos. For additional information about the bookstore call (270) 358-3137.


ACCESSIBILITY:

All park facilities and exhibits are accessible. A wheelchair is available for loan at the Birthplace Unit.


SPECIAL NEEDS:

Handicap parking and ramps are available in the park. A wheel chair is available for loan at the Birthplace Unit.


RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES:

Visitors are invited to tour park grounds, Visitor Center and exhibits, view a 15 minute captioned orientation film, hike and/or picnic in designated areas.


RESERVATIONS/PERMITS:

Reservations for schools/educational or other groups should be made two weeks prior to visiting. One month's notice and an application are required for special use permits. For additional information call (270) 358-3137.


BASIC VISIT RECOMMENDATIONS:

One to two hours are recommended to visit and tour the park.


SPECIAL EVENTS/PROGRAMS (2014):

January - Martin Luther King Birthday Observance

February 12 - Abraham Lincoln Birthday Observance

March - National Park Day

April - National Park Week

September - Walk Through Lincoln's Life

September - U.S. Constitution Week

September - U.S. Public Lands Day

For specific dates and times call (270) 358-3137 or go to the park's Web site.


VISITOR IMPACTS:

For park closures due to inclement weather call (270) 358-3137.


SURROUNDING LINCOLN RELATED ATTRACTIONS:

The Lincoln Museum and Lincoln Statue in Hodgenville, KY

Lincoln Homestead State Park in Springfield, KY

Lincoln Heritage House and Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln House, Elizabethtown, KY

Mary Todd Lincoln Home, Lexington, KY

Farmington Historic Home, Louisville, KY

Civil War Museum, Bardstown, KY


YOUR NATIONAL PARKS:

Remember, take only photographs and leave only footprints.

Did You Know?

Picture of Dedication Ceremony of the Birthplace Memorial Building

The Memorial Building was completed in 1911. Design work on the building started in 1907. President William Howard Taft gave the dedication address on November 9, 1911. He was also a member of the Lincoln Farm Association Board of Trustees.