Camp Nelson National Monument

Camp Nelson National Monument is the first National Monument in Kentucky.  It contains most of the earthen works and forts that protected the northern flank of Camp Nelson, a Civil War depot and recruitment and training center. It contains 380 out of the original 2500+ acres that comprised the camp during the war. The Kentucky River and Hickman Creek palisades naturally provided much of the protection for the western and eastern flanks. The Monument has a Civil War Museum, a restored house that was used by officers during the war, and many miles of interpretive trails.

Safety:  Consider bringing drinking water, sunscreen, bug repellent, and sunglasses.

Activities: hiking dog      Facilities: restroom picnic 


Facility and Trail Map


▬▬ Depot Trail hiking Dogs allowed Easy 0.64 miles
▬▬ Fort Trail hiking Dogs allowed Easy 0.54 miles
▬▬ Fort Putnam Loop hiking Dogs allowed Easy 0.32 miles
▬▬ Long Fort Trail hiking Dogs allowed Easy 1.5 miles
▬▬ Fort Jones Overlook Trail hiking Dogs allowed EasyEasy 2.3 miles

Trail Descriptions

Depot Trail: A mostly grass trail with a small elevation change. Can see the location where the commercial district and prison were, and where the spring used for officers drinking water is.

Fort Trail: A mostly grass trail with a small elevation change. Can see where the barracks were, Fort Jackson, and the White House.

Fort Putnam Loop: A grass trail with no elevation change that branches off the Fort Trail to get to Fort Putnam.

Long Fort Trail: A grass trail with no elevation change that goes between Forts Putnam, Pope, McKee, and Taylor.

Fort Jones Overlook Trail: Starts as a grass trail off of the Long Fort Trail but quickly heads back into the only wooded section of the property. Has a good elevation change down to Fort Jones, and a couple of small stone forts that have a nice overlook to the Hickman Creek valley. There are many connecting trails that crisscross the area, and an extension of this trail leads over to the back of Camp Nelson National Cemetery.


6614 Danville Road
Nicholasville, KY 40356

From Nicholasville, take US 27 south. Go past KY 1268 and take the next left onto Old Danville Rd and follow the signs.

Google Maps Driving Directions

For More Information

Camp Nelson National Monument Web Site

Trail Map

1864 Map of the Defenses of Camp Nelson