Bridges To The Past

Location: Approximately 1 mile south of West Point, KY or 8 miles north of Fort Knox Main Gate on Louisville Nashville Turnpike, from HWY 31W
Contact: Radcliff Tourism
Phone: 270-352-1204
Email: info@radclifftourism.org
Cost: Free
Time Required: Approximate 2-mile walking time. Gentle Slope, Hard Road Surface, Handicap Accessible

The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Knox welcomes you to the BRIDGES TO THE PAST, a paved trail that will take you along a preserved portion of the historic Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Turnpike. The tour is approximately 2 miles in length and is an easy route along a gently sloping paved road surface. Visitors are required to remain on the paved road surface, except where walkways have been provided to allow visitors to view the bridges. The trail lies in an area of Fort Knox used for military training and as a result is sometimes closed to hikers. The trail may also be closed to hikers during some hunting seasons. Visitors using the trail are required to strictly follow the posted regulations outlined on site and below. Signs are conspicuously posted during times the trail is closed.

The Bridges To The Past tour is located entirely on a part of the route of the old L&N Turnpike. The turnpike was first chartered by the Kentucky State Legislature in 1829 by the name of the Louisville, West Point, and Elizabethtown Turnpike Road Company. Capital stock of $100,000 was issued. Turnpike commissioners in this area included James Young, Henry Ditto, John Stockman, Horatio G. Wintersmith, and James Crutcher. The company was re-chartered in 1833 and again in 1837. The road was finally completed about 1838.

The turnpike was heavily traveled in the 19th century. President Andrew Jackson traveled the road several times. In 1851 the famous Swedish singer Jenny Lind rode a stage coach along this route during her tour of America.

During the Civil War, 1861-65, the turnpike was an important route for the military. It was traveled extensively by the Union Army and at times by small detachments from the Confederate Army. In September 1862, General Don Carlos Buell used this road to march his Army of the Ohio toward Louisville in an effort to defend that city against a possible attack by the Confederate Army under General Braxton Bragg. The turnpike was also traveled by guerrillas, who terrorized the Army and civilians alike. No major battles occurred in this area during the war.

Bridges to the Past is located on Federal Property. Violators will be prosecuted under the US Code or Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Hike at your own risk.

Hiking Trail Regulations
  • Trail open daylight hours

  • Visitors must remain in designated hiking areas

  • Excavation and/or removal of archaeological or historical items is prohibited

  • Carry out what you carry in

  • Motorized vehicles, bicycles, skate boards, horses, etc., are not permitted beyond the parking lot

  • Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older

  • No camping, fires, alcohol, drugs, firearms, metal detectors, fireworks or glass containers are permitted

Dec 9, 1862: 800 cavalry and 22 horse ambulances
Dec 11, 1862: 600 cavalry
Dec 14, 1862: 1600 cavalry

Copyright © 1996-2015 by the
Radcliff/Ft. Knox Tourism &
Convention Commission