Our StoryThe Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail is administered by the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail Alliance (KLHTA), which coordinates marketing and educational initiatives for its members, engages in advocacy efforts on behalf of Lincoln-related organizations and communities, and makes all decisions regarding the makeup and focus of the trail. The KLHTA is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization and is governed by a board of directors consisting of representatives from Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trial sites. The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail traces its origins to the 1960s, when the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky partnered to develop a tri-state Lincoln Trail. While successful for many years, this Lincoln Trail eventually faded, leaving only a handful of way finding markers, some of which are still posted today. During the Lincoln Bicentennial Commemoration (2008-2010), Kentucky’s Lincoln trail was re-established through a partnership of state government agencies as well as local, federal, and nonprofit organizations. The Lincoln Heritage Trail is not only a physical journey through Lincoln’s boyhood, it is a personal journey through a life that continually brought Lincoln into contact with his fellow Kentuckians.
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The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail consists of historic sites and museums with ties to the sixteenth president. Last year, more than 400,000 people visited Lincoln Trail sites from local, regional, national, and international locations. From 2011-2012, attendance at Lincoln Trail sites increased by 5.5%, translating to more than 16,000 KY tourists.
Kentucky”s Lincoln Heritage Trail serves important educational functions. Each year, thousands of students take field trips to experience the exhibits and programs at the trail’s historic sites and museums. Lesson plans are available for download. Teachers can also explore professional development opportunities.
The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail is an active partner in community development initiatives such as preservation and conservation. The Alliance also engages in advocacy efforts and is leading an initiative to re-establish the original Lincoln Heritage Trail through the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.