Department of Tourism
Fun and Enlightening Events on Tap at Lincoln Nat'l Historic Park in April
HODGENVILLE, Ky. – In April, the Abraham Lincoln National Historic Park will host a volunteer “Park Day” clean-up, a birding hike and a “Junior Ranger Day” experience of frontier life in the Kentucky of Abraham Lincoln’s early boyhood.
The Park Day clean-up, set for Saturday April 7, will coincide with similar efforts sponsored by the National Park Service and the Civil War Preservation Trust at battlefields, cemeteries, shrines and other historic sites around the country. Park Day is underwritten with a grant from cable television’s History Channel.
Beginning at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time) and armed with trash bags and weed whackers, volunteers will pick up litter from the grounds and roadways of the Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek. Lincoln’s boyhood cabin at Knob Creek is located six miles north of Hodgenville (25 miles south of Bardstown) on U.S. 31E. In exchange for their work, volunteers will receive T-shirts and have an opportunity to hear a local historian discuss the significance of the site.
The following Saturday, April 14, the Lincoln Boyhood Home site staff and Louisville’s Beckham Bird Club will lead a nature hike to identify migrating song birds, as well as to spot the abundant wildflowers and butterflies found there each spring. From 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., participants will hike the fields along Knob Creek, stopping often to watch and listen for spring warblers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and bluebirds, among other species. Following the hike, the group will gather at the picnic tables near the Lincoln family’s cabin to eat lunch and record their findings. Participants must bring their own lunch.
On April 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park will offer a special Junior Ranger Day program aimed at youngsters curious about what life was like for Lincoln, his parents and his sister, Sarah, who lived in a one-room cabin at the Sinking Spring Farm. Sarah was about 2 years old when the family moved to the farm in 1808. Abraham was born Feb. 12, 1809. The family moved on from Sinking Creek to the Knob Creek farm in 1811.
Using the visitor center’s newly installed cabin exhibit, participants in the Junior Ranger Day program will explore spinning, candle making, cooking over a fireplace, packing a wagon for a journey and sleeping under a bearskin rug. The birthplace cabin exhibit is located in the Lincoln Historical Park visitor’s center, which is about 3 miles south of Hodgenville on U.S. 31E and Ky. 61. Participants will complete workbook exercises to learn more about Lincoln’s birthplace and will receive a 2007 Junior Ranger Day button or badge for their efforts.
Visitors can also tour the grounds that include the Lincoln Birthplace Memorial Building, a large marble and granite structure that contains the 16-foot by 18-foot, one-room, dirt-floored log cabin that recreates the place where the United States’ sixteenth president was born. Visitors can also walk along the Big Sink Trail through the site of the Lincolns’ farm, which features numbered interpretive signs that explain points of interest.
The kickoff celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth will be held at the Birthplace National Historic Park in February 2008. Visitors may find their experience of the birthplace attractions more enjoyable before the arrival of anticipated crowds of thousands of tourists expected to be drawn by the bicentennial festivities.