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.
Established as a Union supply depot and hospital during the Civil War, Camp Nelson became a recruitment and training center for African American soldiers, and a refugee camp for their wives and children. Thousands of slaves risked their lives escaping to this site with the hope of securing their freedom and, ultimately, controlling their futures by aiding in the destruction of slavery.
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 (643 km) 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
- 5 National Parks
- 1,872,764 Visitors to National Parks
- $115,800,000 Economic Benefit from National Park Tourism »
- $670,175,426 of Rehabilitation Projects Stimulated by Tax Incentives (since 1995) »
- $64,618,739 of Land & Water Conservation Fund Appropriated for Projects (since 1965) »
- $40,677,131 in Historic Preservation Grants (since 1969) »
- 23 Certified Local Governments »
- 50 Community Conservation & Recreation Projects (since 1987) »
- 7,534 Acres Transferred by Federal Lands to Parks for Local Parks and Recreation (since 1948) »
- 39,737 Hours Donated by Volunteers »
- 1 National Trails Managed by NPS »
- 3,444 National Register of Historic Places Listings »
- 32 National Historic Landmarks »
- 7 National Natural Landmarks »
- 1 World Heritage Site »
- 425 Places Recorded by Heritage Documentation Programs »
- 1,852,166 Objects in National Park Museum Collections »
- 1,634 Archeological Sites in National Parks »
- 4 Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans »
- 9 Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries »
- Print the summary »
These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/2017.