Abe to the Cave Trail Itinerary: All the adventure between Mammoth Cave National Park and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace National Historical Park

The trail highlights all the adventures between two national parks that are 40 miles apart.  You can experience it coming or going, it’s totally cool no matter which way you begin.


DAY 1 (If you’re traveling south)

1. Hop off Interstate 65 at Elizabethtown Exit 91 toward Hodgenville and head straight on KY 61
to US 31E south.

2. Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace National Historical Park, 2895 Lincoln Farm Road, Hodgenville

Yes, Abe was born right here in Kentucky. You can view the Symbolic Birth Cabin that is housed
in an impressive, columned structure, learn more about the history of it all at the visitor center,
and enjoy the beautiful grounds. We suggest planning 45 minutes to an hour here.

3. Optional side trips- if you have more time to spare:

o Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, 7120 Bardstown Road, Hodgenville. Young Abe lived on this farm ( just 10 miles from the Birthplace) from age 2 1/2 to almost 8.
o The Lincoln Museum, 66 Lincoln Square, Hodgenville.
Dioramas and exhibits at this museum located in downtown Hodgenville (just 3 miles
from the Birthplace) near two Lincoln sculptures.


4. Jump back on US 31E and head south again. (You’ll be going 27 miles to the intersection with
KY 218.) Things to look for along the way:

o Hart County Barn Quilt Trail – As your enjoying the rural countryside, check out the
colorful painted quilt panels on barns along the roadside. Download your printable map

o Devore’s Restaurant, 9 North Jackson Highway, Hardyville
Our recommendations: Fried chicken on Tuesdays and Fish on Fridays. And everything

o PA Daddys BBQ – NEW! 5112 S Jackson Highway, Horse Cave

o Dennison’s Roadside Market, 5824 S Jackson Hwy(31E), Horse Cave
You want to stop here! Open April through December. Locally grown produce and
locally-made products. It’s fantastic!

o Wigwam General Store, 7019 S Jackson Highway, Horse Cave
Our recommendations: The burgers are hand-patted and unbelievable. Add their
handmade curly fries. Or try a fried bologna sandwich and ask them to add their
homemade pimento cheese. YUM!

5. Turn right onto KY 218 and go straight into Horse Cave. (About 3 miles.)

o 5 Broke Girls, 904 E Main St, Horse Cave
Our recommendations: The chicken fried chicken is to die for! Have you ever had fried

6. Hidden River Cave/American Cave Museum  119 East Main Street, Horse Cave
The world’s longest underground suspension bridge, a rushing river, on or off-trail tours, zip line
and rappel at this cave that’s located right on Main Street in the middle of downtown Horse
Cave. (Zip line and rappel temporarily closed due to Covid 19 guidelines)


7. Totally cute downtown shops and local eateries in Horse Cave’s National Register District

o The Bookstore – Great locally-owned used bookstore. You’ll love this one!
o A Walk Through Time – Fabulous primitive antiques. Emry, the owner, will help you out!
o Geega’s Home Decor – Sweet little shop with cool treasures.
o Caveland Antiques – Crammed full of antiques and estate items.
o All Things by Mel – Boutiques clothing, gifts and specialty foods.
o Sims Studios and Art Shop – Original art, gifts, framing.
o Turtlelini’s Pizza and Pasta, 103 S Dixie St, Horse Cave
Our recommendation: Locally-owned and homemade. We love the cheese sticks and
the great lunch and dinner salad bar/buffet.

o C&J Café, 103 N Dixie St, Horse Cave
Our recommendations: Down home cooking. We love the burgers and the fish on

8. WHEW! We suggest you stay overnight at our I-65 Interchange Exit 58. Just go straight out Main Street (KY 218) about 3 miles from downtown.

Holiday Inn Express
o Quality Inn & Suites
Horse Cave KOA & Kabins 


1. Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo
Interactive animal park where you can pet kangaroos (they have 33), feed rainbow lorikeets, see
sheepherding demonstrations, animal shows, and explore Mammoth Onyx Cave. We suggest at
least 2 hours here and recommend opting for a golf cart.

oFarmwald Dutch Bakery & Deli  – NEW! 3700 L And N Turnpike Rd, Horse Cave, KY 42749. Sweet, new Amish bakery located in front of Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo.

2. Hop on Interstate 65 and go 5 miles to Cave City, Exit 53. Take the exit and go 5 miles west on KY 70/90.


a. YOU’RE HERE! Stop for a selfie at the iconic Mammoth Cave National Park entrance
sign. While you’re there check out the interpretive signage along the short walkway to
view Sand Cave, where caver Floyd Collins’ entrapment in the early 1920s was the very
first international news story.
b. ON TO THE CAVE! Keep going into the park and take one turn onto Mammoth Cave
Parkway. Caution- The enforced speed limit is 35 miles an hour. So take your time to
enjoy the beautiful wooded areas. Watch out for deer or turkeys!

o Stop at the Visitor Center for all the information about cave tours, trails, the
hotel, restaurant, and more. We suggest you make cave tour reservations online
in advance to make sure you get the tour perfect for you.
o After your fun day at Mammoth Cave, stop back in Cave City for some fun at
Dinosaur World, Kentucky Action Park and more. Grab a bite to eat before
you’re on your way.

3. Not enough time for everything? Choose a few things and plan a return visit. Our Hart County
attractions are open year round! Plan here: kygetaway.com
INSIDE SCOOP: Check out this blog from our friend JC about the Abe to the Cave Trail.

© Horse Cave/Hart County Tourist Commission 2021 | All Rights Reserved.