Danville designated as one end of Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Highway
Published 9:22 am Saturday, August 12, 2017
Sometime in September, a large sign will be noticeable at the edge of Constitution Square State Historic Site, marking it as one end of the Lincoln Heritage National Scenic Highway, and marking the completion of a project in the works since 2008.
“This closes out the project and it’s complete. It will be up to us to promote it, which we’ve already been doing,” said Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
“This is actually an experience we can create that puts our best foot forward and does exactly what we need to do to not only enhance the quality of life for people who live here, but to attract more visitors.”
Email newsletter signup
The Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway, which began while Kirchner’s predecessor Adam Johnson was in the position, aims to highlight 71.2 miles of Kentucky, along Highway 31 East and U.S. 150 through LaRue, Washington, Nelson and Boyle counties. It is part of the National Scenic Byways Program, part of the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; and the Kentucky Scenic Highway Program, managed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Kirchner said the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway project may have been started before she arrived, but it fits perfectly with the goals of the Convention and Visitors Bureau now.
“We just finished our branding project. The thing that resonated most clearly was that as a county we need to embrace our Kentucky heritage,” she said. “There are a multitude of ways, going forward, we can do that.”
Kirchner explained that the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway focused on three main aspects of Kentucky: religion, heritage or history, and bourbon.
“People get to interact with one of those segments,” she said. “There’s a mix of things for people to do and see — restaurants, parks and interactive ways to learn about history.”
Danville marks one end of the route, while Hodgenville marks the other. Trails, Kirchner said, are a big thing in Kentucky, and people are transitioning from more planned tours into creating their own adventures. This project, she said, works perfectly within that, letting people pick and choose which portions of the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway they want to see, or if they want to see all of it.
Earlier in the project smaller, trail-blazing signs were placed, Kirchner said. There are some in Danville, such as one near the Lincoln statue at the campus of Centre College and at the other 53 locations in the state.
There are 10 locations in Danville, including the statute at Centre College; three in Perryville and two in the county that are considered resources along the route.
“It’s perfectly aligned with what Boyle County’s best features are,” Kirchner said. “Across the state of Kentucky, Lincoln is an important figure and it’s something Kentucky is known for.
“For us to be able to take part of that is fantastic. It’s a win for us.”