Fall and Winter Programs

Camp Nelson National Monument at sunrise during the Fall
A view of looking east of Camp Nelson National Monument. Fort Putnam, a reconstructed earthen artillery battery, can be seen in the center of the image.


New Seasons at Camp Nelson National Monument

The national park idea has been nurtured by each succeeding generation of Americans. Today, across our land, the National Park System represents America at its best. Each park contributes to a deeper understanding of the history of the United States and our way of life; of the natural processes which have given form to our land, and to the enrichment of the environment in which we live.
-George B. Hartzog, Jr., NPS Director, 1964-1972

Join the National Park Service (NPS) as we usher in the new seasons at Camp Nelson National Monument. The NPS is offering a wide variety of programs for visitors to see and experience at at this site.

Fall Calendar:

Saturday, September 24th: National Public Lands Day (9:30 am – 12:00 pm)

Join the NPS for National Public Lands Day—traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort—at Camp Nelson National Monument. Volunteers will assist park staff with removing wire fencing at several sections in the park as we continue to transform the cultural landscape back to the Civil War Era. Participants should wear long sleeves and pants and bring water. Working gloves and tools will be provided.

Saturday, October 1st: Fall History Hike (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)

Join the NPS as we usher in a new season at the park. NPS Rangers will lead visitors on a guided-hike that will explore the site’s natural and cultural resources. The hike will be conducted on paved and grass paths and will involve moderate inclines. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water.

Saturday, October 22nd: Second Annual Luminaria and Memorial Walk (6:30 pm – 8:00 pm)

The NPS invites you to participate in the 2nd Annual Luminaria and Remembrance Memorial and Walk to mark the anniversary of Camp Nelson's largest expulsion of refugees.

On November 22, 1864, the US Army forcibly expelled 400 African American refugees from the camp during a winter storm, resulting in the deaths of 102 souls. It was the eighth and largest expulsion of refugees from the base since its establishment in April 1863. The November Expulsion garnered national attention and reached the halls of Congress in Washington DC, which passed legislation on March 3, 1865, granting emancipation for any enslaved person seeking refuge with the US military.

The special event will feature interpretive talks by NPS staff and special guests, a musical performance, and a guided-walk to Graveyard No. 1, where 400 luminarias will be lit to honor the people expelled.

The event begins outside the park’s Visitor Center. The ½ mile walk will be conducted over paved roads and a mowed grass path. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes/boots and warm clothing, and bring flashlights.

All programs start at the park's visitor center:
6614 Danville Road Loop 2
Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356

Last updated: September 16, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6614 Old Danville Road Loop 2
Loop 2

Nicholasville , KY 40356


(859) 881-5716
The phone is usually answered 7-days per week, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Voice messages are checked regularly.

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