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:
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.
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.
ADVENTURE ALONG THE WAY
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:
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 here.
Devore’s Restaurant, 9 North Jackson Highway, Hardyville
Our recommendations: Fried chicken on Tuesdays and Fish on Fridays. And everything else!
PA Daddys BBQ – NEW! 5112 S Jackson Highway, Horse Cave
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!
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.)
5 Broke Girls, 904 E Main St, Horse Cave
Our recommendations: The chicken fried chicken is to die for! Have you ever had fried okra?
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.
7. Totally cute downtown shops and local eateries in Horse Cave’s National Register District
The Hanger Boutique – New women’s apparel store
A Walk Through Time – Fabulous primitive antiques. Emry, the owner, will help you out!
Geega’s Home Decor – Sweet little shop with cool treasures.
Caveland Antiques – Crammed full of antiques and estate items.
All Things by Mel – Boutiques clothing, gifts and specialty foods.
Sims Studios and Art Shop – Original art, gifts, framing.
The Feeder, 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.
C & J Cafe 103 N Dixie St, Horse Cave
Our recommendations: Down home cooking. We love the burgers and the fish on Friday.
Healthy-ish Bistro 108 East Main St, Horse Cave
Delicious flatbreads, wraps, smoothies and more right across the street from Hidden River Cave.
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.
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.
Farmwald 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. Just a short hop down the road at 2125 L&N Turnpike Road, Horse Cave, you can meet exotic animals on a hayride safari through the Amish farm and make some new animal friends at the encounter areas at Dutch Country Safari Park.
DUTCH COUNTRY SAFARI PARK
3. 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.
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.
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!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.
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.
4. 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.