FRANKFORT, Ky. – Mill Springs Battlefield has been selected to be part of the Kentucky Civil War Heritage Trails, a new state program to help visitors and residents understand how the conflict shaped the commonwealth as the nation observes the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.
Fifty-four sites around the state make up the initial group of attractions on the Civil War Heritage Trails announced Oct. 1 by Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow.
The selected sites are ready to receive visitors, have historical interpretation and are near to major routes for both in-state and out-of-state travelers. More sites will be added to the trails as they meet these criteria.
Besides battlefields and other sites of the war, the Kentucky trails program includes a new website, www.kentuckycivilwar.org, which features maps, a monthly listing of commemorative events and a blog providing interpretive information.
"The trails are not intended to be one continuous route, but instead to provide clusters of sites that can be visited conveniently in various regions of the commonwealth," said Kimberly Clay, Cultural Heritage Tourism Director with the Department of Travel and Tourism.
“We believe the trails will attract visitors from outside the state who aren’t necessarily Civil War buffs but who want to learn more about what happened here,” said Clay, who has worked with officials from the Kentucky Historical Society, Heritage Council and the Transportation Cabinet to coordinate the project.
“We are excited to be included in this new trail system,” said Karyn Branham, Interim Director of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association, “Kentucky’s Civil War Sesquicentennial is nearly upon us and this new trail system will help interpret and educate more people about the Civil War in Kentucky.”
The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. Tourism in Kentucky has an economic impact of $11.3 billion, employs about 170,000 people and generates $1.2 billion in taxes.