National Historical Park
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.
National River & Recreation Area
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.
National Historical Park
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.
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.
Mammoth Cave, KY
Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name - Mammoth.
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.
By The Numbers
- 4 national parks
- 1,828,192 visitors to national parks
- $114,700,000 economic benefit from national park tourism »
- 3,380 National Register of Historic Places listings »
- $432,914,748 of rehabilitation projects stimulated by tax incentives (since 1995) »
- 62,584 hours donated by volunteers »
- 7 National Natural Landmarks »
- 32 National Historic Landmarks »
- $60,419,161 in Land & Water Conservation Fund grants (since 1965) »
- 7,515 acres transferred by Federal Lands to Parks for local parks and recreation (since 1948) »
- $37,625,554 in historic preservation grants (since 1969) »
- 37 community conservation and recreation projects (since 1987) »
- 1 World Heritage Site »
- 424 places recorded by heritage documentation programs »
- 1,981,588 objects in national park museum collections »
- 35 threatened and endangered species in national parks »
- 1,633 archeological sites in national parks »
- 23 Certified Local Governments »
- 4 Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans »
- 8 Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itineraries »
- Download the summary »
These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/14.