Length: 71.2 mi / 114.6 km
Time to Allow: Approximately three hours
The Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway, a 72-mile stretch of US 31E and US 150, travels through six communities as it winds its way through the knobs of Kentucky. The corridor passes through Hodgenville, New Haven, Bardstown, Springfield, Perryville and Danville. This corridor exhibits significant historic and cultural resources around every turn. It embraces a set of four strong aspects: Abraham Lincoln, US History and the Civil War, Bourbon Heritage, and Religious Heritage.
The Highway was designated a National Scenic Byway in October 2009. Since this time, a volunteer committee has worked to promote the vast scenic, cultural and historic assets of this roadway and the communities it passes through.
A great portrayal of American history and culture can be experienced along the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway. Abraham Lincoln was born and raised near Hodgenville. When Lincoln was elected president and the Civil War began, Kentucky was one of the essential border states and the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway played a significant role in the outcome of the Civil War.
Religion is also important along the byway. The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani is America’s oldest Trappist Monastery and manifests the prominence of religion along the corridor.
Bourbon also plays a prominent role in byway history. The Bourbon Trail and its eight bourbon distilleries pass through the Lincoln Heritage Highway. Bourbon is known as America’s official spirit and has a rich history and proud tradition along the corridor. The Bourbon Trail is a unique destination that entices visitors from around the globe.
The Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway represents an escape from the ordinary, a true symbolism of the adventure of the open road, and a snapshot of early American life.
Come Closer to the Experience
Explore the Western Theater of the American Civil War
Discover less familiar stories from the American Civil War at the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater in Bardstown, Kentucky along the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway. more >>
Cultural Treasures on the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway
Wander the beautiful grounds of Federal Hill Mansion. Savor the smooth taste of perfectly-aged bourbon. Marvel at miniature buildings. These treasures and more await you in the green fields and valleys of the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway. more >>
Come Closer to Enjoy the Ride
1-Day Trip: Abraham Lincoln, Central Kentucky History, Bourbon and Religion
Sites and stops along this itinerary are meant to fully interpret and experience the four themes this highway is built upon: the early life of Abraham Lincoln in Kentucky, religious settlement, Bourbon heritage and a rich, Civil War history. more >>
A road is designated as a “byway” by government agencies or private organizations. This website focuses on those byways recognized by Congress in the National Scenic Byways Program of the Federal Highway Administration.
A road may be named as a byway by many agencies. These may include its state byway program, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and more. Designations known to us are listed below, as well as the designating agency and the date of designation. Contact each agency for further details about their byway programs.
National Scenic Byway
Designated October 16, 2009
Kentucky State Scenic Byway
Designated December 3, 2008