Kentucky Tourism
   

Historic

There’s plenty of history at Kentucky State Parks, including a dozen state historic sites that are part of the park system. These sites range from pre-historic animals and man to Revolutionary War and Civil War sites. Several historic homes are also on the list and open to the public, including Federal Hill at My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, the iconic mansion that is the subject of the state song, “My Old Kentucky Home.” Many structures and landmarks located in KY state parks are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many historic sites offer special events such as battle re-enactments or other living history programs. Some of these sites charge an entry fee for tours. Check the park website for operating hours, special events, admission prices and other tourist information.

View the full list of historic Kentucky State Parks below and add a few to your trip itinerary!

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park Carlisle, KY

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is a picture of rural serenity set above the banks of the Licking River in the rolling hills of northeastern Kentucky. Visit the museum, sit by the pool or bring the kids to the playground. Guests can walk the very grounds where 182 settlers, outnumbered and outgunned, fought for their lives in what is thought to be Kentucky's last battle of the Revolutionary War on August 19, 1782. PHONE: 859-289-5507

Columbus-Belmont State Park Columbus, KY

Columbus-Belmont State Park is a National Scenic Byway & National Trail of Tears Site. It is also part of the Civil War Heritage Trail. Today, you can still see the massive chain and anchor used by the South to block passage of Union gunboats and the earthen trenches dug to protect over 19,000 Confederate troops. The farmhouse that served as a Civil War hospital is now a museum. PHONE: 270-677-2327

Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site Barbourville, KY

Although Daniel Boone is often remembered as Kentucky's most famous pioneer, Dr. Thomas Walker was actually the first frontiersman in Kentucky. A physician & surveyor, Walker led the first expedition through Cumberland Gap in 1750. Near the river, which he named Cumberland, Dr. Walker built the first cabin in Kentucky, a replica of which stands on the site today. PHONE: 606-546-4400

Fort Boonesborough State Park Richmond, KY

When Daniel Boone & his men reached the Kentucky River, they quickly moved to establish Kentucky's second settlement - the site still known as Fort Boonesborough. Fort Boonesborough has been reconstructed as a working fort complete with cabins, block houses and furnishings. PHONE: 859-527-3131

General Butler State Resort Park Carrollton, KY

Located along I-71 between Louisville and Cincinnati, the park is a fitting tribute to one of Kentucky's foremost military families. Named for General William Orlando Butler, the military family spans from colonial time through the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War and Civil War. A stone overlook was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s so guests can enjoy the same river scenes the Butlers viewed in times past. A lodge swimming pool is available for cottage & lodge guests, current Camper Swim Times 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. PHONE: 502-732-4384

Jefferson Davis State Historic Site Fairview, KY

CALL: 270-889-6100

John James Audubon State Park Henderson, KY

Located in Henderson, the John James Audubon State Park was recognized in Kentucky Living magazine’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards! Museum: 1st Place; Outdoor Recreation Spot: 2nd Place

Lincoln Homestead State Park Springfield, KY

CALL: 859-336-7461 Lincoln Homestead State Park in Springfield, Kentucky features the original home of Lincoln’s mother, as well as replicas of the 1782 cabin and blacksmith shop where his father was reared and learned his trade. You'll also find the home of Mordecai Lincoln, the favorite uncle of the 16th president of America, along with split-rail fences and pioneer furniture that portray the rugged pioneer life. Lincoln Homestead State Park is one of the stops on Kentucky's Lincoln Heritage Trail. Grounds open year round. Museum/Gift Shop open weekends only in October. Cabins closed October 1 - April 30.

My Old Kentucky Home Bardstown, KY

Federal Hill was the inspiration for Stephen Foster's famous ballad, "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night". Today, this Georgian-style mansion is as endearing to visitors as it was in 1852, the year Foster wrote what has become the official state song while visiting his cousins, the Rowan family. Step into the days of the antebellum South as costumed guides escort you through the stately mansion and formal gardens. PHONE: (502) 348-3502

Old Fort Harrod State Park Harrodsburg, KY

In 1774 James Harrod established the first permanent settlement west of the Alleghenies in what would become Central Kentucky. The fort at the center of Old Fort Harrod is made of several structures that reflect early life in Kentucky. Cabins and blockhouses are furnished with handmade items used by the pioneers. PHONE: (859) 734-3314

Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site Tompkinsville, KY

The oldest "freestanding" log meetinghouse in Kentucky was constructed in 1804. It was built in the shape of a cross with 12 corners and included three doors, symbolic of the Holy Trinity. The church roster listed the names of many Revolutionary War soldiers and pioneers, including Daniel Boone's sister, Hannah. PHONE: (270) 487-8481

Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site Perryville, KY

At Perryville Battlefield Historic Site, you can tour a museum, watch Civil War reenactments, see demonstrations and much more. Plan your visit now.

Waveland State Historic Site Lexington, KY

CALL: 859-272-3611 Antebellum house in Lexington, also known as the Joseph Bryan estate, includes three original outbuildings - slave quarters, smokehouse and ice house. Guided tours of Waveland historic site focus on the everyday lives of family and slaves who lived and worked at Waveland in the 1850s.

White Hall State Historic Site Richmond, KY

CALL: 859-623-9178 Nestled in rolling farmland, the Richmond KY home was built in the late 1700’s, with a major addition constructed in the 1860’s. Historic White Hall mansion, designed in Georgian and Italianate styles, boasts nearly ten thousand square feet with modern innovations of the time such as central heating and indoor plumbing.

Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site Wickliffe, KY

Wickliffe Mounds is the archaeological site of a prehistoric Native American village of the Mississippian mound builders, and is a Kentucky Archaeological Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the museum exhibits the excavated features of the mounds, outstanding displays of Mississippian pottery. stone tools, bone & shell implements and interpretive info about the park's history. PHONE: 270-335-3681

William Whitley House State Historic Site Stanford, KY

The William Whitley House was the first brick home and circular racetrack built west of the Alleghany Mountains, completed in 1794 by William Whitley and his wife Esther. Visit today!