Lincoln Heritage Trail


“[W]e need more than good highways, nice parks, playgrounds, and theaters.  We need to call the public’s attention to our other attractions, such as the Lincoln shrines and the burial place of Daniel Boone . .  That is the purpose of the Lincoln Trail, which is designed to touch in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky all the historic sites identified with Abraham Lincoln.  Through this trail we can bring history alive for the visitor.”

Governor Bert Combs speech on February 13, 1963, at the Lincoln Trail Travel Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana


The history of the Lincoln Heritage Trail dates back to January 1963 when the travel development office of the American Petroleum Institute (API) conceived and presented this concept to the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.  A series of three conferences occurred in Springfield, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Louisville, Kentucky, between representatives of the states.  The outcome was a one-thousand-mile trail that explored the important Abraham Lincoln sites throughout these three states, a designed trail marker, and a four-color brochure.  Governor Bert Combs of Kentucky, along with his Indiana and Illinois counterparts, met for a luncheon at the Kentucky Dam Village on April 16, 1963, to give their final approval to the project. On May 18, 1963, the official proclamation of the governors was released to the public, in part stating: “WHEREAS, To facilitate and encourage the visiting of Lincoln places within their borders, the three states – Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois – are jointly proclaiming appropriate sections of their highway systems as the Lincoln Heritage Trail.”


Cover of the Lincoln Heritage Trail Official Souvenir Book and Tour Guide

Kentucky Historical Society Collections