Abraham Lincoln spent 14 formative years of his young life in southern Indiana. In tribute, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial was the first national park established in Indiana and is today maintained by the National Park Service.
The forestlike setting offers quite a bit to see, from the U-shape Bicentennial Plaza with its massive limestone panels and well-organized visitors center to the Living Historical Farm and Abe’s mother’s gravesite. An informative 15-minute film hits all the highlights, and exhibits and the gift shop are worth exploring. Kids can test their knowledge of the former president by taking the Junior Ranger quiz to receive a badge, and an intriguing new handwriting exhibit transposes visitors’ writing samples into the president’s penmanship.
Built in honor of Lincoln's 200th birthday, an outdoor Bicentennail Trail walking path and limestone public plaza within the larger context of Lincoln State Park tell the story of Honest Abe between the ages of 7 and 21. Twelve limestone markers along the way detail different aspects of Lincoln's formative boyhood years in Indiana, but it's mostly an abbreviated version of the same info that can be gleaned at the more interesting visitors center.
The park is open year-round, although some portions are closed seasonally. Admission passes are good for a week and cost $3 per person or $5 per family.