Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site
DescriptionTop Five Things To Do
1. Visit the museum to view the battle video and see original battle artifacts.
2. Enjoy the 3.5 miles long driving tour of the battle.
3. Hike up to 19 miles of interpretive trails.
4. The museum gift shop has something for every Civil War enthusiast.
5. Take the self-guided tour of Maney's attack at the battlefield.
On October 8, 1862, cannon explosions shattered the rural peace of this tranquil countryside and the death moans of young soldiers. Perryville became the site of the most destructive Civil War battle in the state which left more than 7,600 killed, wounded or missing. The Perryville Battlefield park museum tells of the battle that was the South’s last serious attempt to gain possession of Kentucky.
Jeff Shaara, author of the guidebook Jeff Shaara's Civil War Battlefields: Discovering America's Hallowed Ground, lists Perryville Battlefield as one of the 10 great Civil War places to visit. His national review appeared in USA Today.
This Kentucky battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; vistas visible today are virtually those soldiers saw on that fateful day in 1862. The total acreage of the battlefield is 1,200 acres. A self-guided walking tour on the battlefield interprets battle events. This is one of the stops along Kentucky's Lincoln Heritage Trail.
For more information on the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville to be held October 8-9, 2022, please visit https://parks.ky.gov/perryville/events/events/160th-anniversary-battle-perryville-reenactment. The military reenactment for 2022 is being organized by Earl Zeckman, Grand Army of the Republic; Hunter Poytress, Army of the Deep South; and Scott Johnson, Tennessee Valley Battalion. Their armies will provide for approximately 1,000 troops depicting the blue and gray.
Are you looking for a way to advertise your business, organization, or honor a family member that fought at the Battle of Perryville?CLICK HERE for info!
Hours of Operation
Starting April 1, the museum will be open Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The battlefield will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with gates closing at 7 p.m.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site Resources
With the help of a class from Centre College, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site now has a digital database of more than 5,800 soldiers who died, were wounded or went missing during the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky. Click here to search the database and learn more.
Although best known for the epic Civil War battle that occurred here, Perryville Battlefield is also a wildlife refuge that features a variety of wildlife and habitats. Approximately 1,000 acres of preserved land contains woodlands, grasslands, open prairie flowered grasslands and dense thickets where dozens of species of birds can be observed. The park has a dedicated “Bird Trail” that meanders through these habitats.
The park has over 15 miles of hiking trails that include both historic trails as well as nature trails. Perryville recently underwent a transformation from large hay fields into 700 acres of pristine habitat. On the park, you will encounter Kentucky native wildlife as well as see one of the most endangered habitats in the United States, open prairie flowered grasslands. These are very rare in the United States and we restored several of these areas within the park.
Numerous rare bird species use the grasslands at Perryville Battlefield for spring nesting habitats. Bobolinks and Henslow’s Sparrows can be seen along the “Bird Trail” as it winds its way along the grassy bottoms of Doctor’s Creek and Donelson’s Run. Migrating waterfowl are very visible on the creeks that run through Perryville during the fall. Winter is a great time to see the many raptor species that hunt in the open fields. One might even catch a glimpse of one of Kentucky’s most threatened bird species – the Barn Owl.
- To report your bird sighting data and upload photos, CLICK HERE.
For a memento of your visit to Perryville Battlefield, visit the Gift Shop, featuring Kentucky handcrafts, souvenirs, and a large selection of Civil War books.
Enjoy the beautiful and historical grounds of the park on one of the self-guiding walking trails. Over 40 interpretive signs are part of the nearly 20-mile trail system. Pick-up a map at the museum. Thanks to the preservation successes of the battlefield, native plants and wildlife find a protected home here and also thrive. Recently Perryville Battlefield entered into a partnership with the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in an effort to return 100 park acres back to its original appearance and re-introduce native habitat. So as you stroll back in time along Doctor’s Creek and past the cannons, you may also stumble upon some wild turkey, mink, deer, and numerous bird species, just as the soldiers did years ago.
The Civil War comes to life in the Perryville Battlefield Museum. Examine actual battle artifacts, a Civil War display, and a map with the layout of the battle. Upon exiting the museum, be sure to stop by the Confederate monument nearby that was erected in 1902 and the Union monument added in 1931.
Call the park office at 859-332-8631 to schedule your group tour.
- Adults: $5.00
- Adult Group (10 or more): $4.50
- Child (7-12): $3.00
- Child Group (10 or more, ages 7-12): $2.50
- Children 6 and under: $0.00
- Military & Seniors: $4.50
The park has a picnic shelter with rest rooms, tables, grills, and a playground for the enjoyment of visitors.