This article was originally published in the Messenger-Inquirer on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

By: Steve Vied

Elizabethtown, about 90 miles east of Owensboro via the Natcher and Western Kentucky parkways, has a list of things to do that anyone looking for a day trip is likely to enjoy, starting with the city's 170-acre Freeman Lake Park.

The park offers fishing and boating, including kayaking and paddleboating. Daily permits for fishing are available for large mouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, rainbow trout and bluegill. Rowboats and paddleboats are available for rent. The park also offers 93 acres for picnicking, a couple of picnic shelters with restrooms, volleyball courts, playgrounds and seven miles of walking trails around the lake.

Visitors to Freeman Lake Park, which is about a mile north of downtown Elizabethtown on U.S. 31W (West Dixie Avenue), can also check out the Lincoln Heritage House, a one-room school, the Sara Bush Johnson log cabin and a new tennis complex of 11 courts. The park is open from 7 a.m. to dark each day.

The Lincoln Heritage House was restored by the Hardin County Historical Society and opened in 1973. It was destroyed by fire in 2009 and rebuilt in 2011.

"It is a replica of a cabin Abraham Lincoln's father built a portion of," said Sherry Murphy, of the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau.

Just north of Freeman Lake Park is the Elizabethtown Nature Park, which has been forever changed with the addition just last month of the Vietnam Wall replica.

The Vietnam Wall replica, built by the city and the local Veterans Tribute Group, was unveiled on April 28. The wall is a four-fifths-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, The Elizabethtown wall is 360 feet long and 8 feet tall. Rubbings of names on the wall can be taken just as they are at the wall in Washington.

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