Although there are many amazing hiking spots across Kentucky, you’d be surprised to find out how many places there are to hike right here in the city. Why drive an hour or more for hiking when there are beautiful trails all around Louisville– no more than thirty minutes away? Check out this list below for the 11 best hiking spots across town.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Cherokee Park
Known for its rolling hills and and wooded nature preserves, this park also offers a 2.4 mile
scenic loop-- providing one lane for traffic, and the other pedestrian lane for runners,
bicyclists, and dog walkers to use at their leisure. Along this paved loop, however, there are
many entrances to dirt trails that quickly lead you into lush green forests, teeming with lovely
Kentucky wildlife that takes you away from the worries of the city.
Cherokee Park is located at 745 Cochran Hill Rd, Louisville, KY 40206.
2. Jefferson Memorial Forest
Spanning an impressive 6,500 acres, the Jefferson Memorial forest is the largest municipal urban forest in the United States. Located right here in Southwest Louisville, this forest offers over 35 miles of hiking trails filled with Kentucky's beautiful flora.
Jefferson Memorial Forest is located at 11311 Mitchell Hill Road, Fairdale, KY 40118.
3. The Parklands of Floyds Fork
Technically four adjoining parks, the Parklands of Floyds Fork offers beautiful rolling hills , wooded trails, and grassy fields to hike through. The parks follow Floyds Fork, a 62-mile-long tributary of the Salt River in Kentucky, directly south and east of Louisville.
One of the entrances to The Parklands of Floyds Forks can be found at 1411 Beckley Creek Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40245.
4. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Pictured above: the canopy walk at Bernheim Forest.
Bernheim forest is located in Clermont, Kentucky, which is just a short drive from the southernmost limits of the city. This beautiful forest has a variety of trails to follow ranging in difficulty for both the casual and seasoned hiker. Once you've finished with hiking for the day, take a break at the education center, visitor's center, or garden pavilion, which offers interesting information about the history of the forest as well as the Kentucky wildlife that resides here.
Bernheim Forest is located at 2075 Clermont Rd, Clermont, KY 40110.
5. Joe Creason Park
Joe Creason Park offers beautiful views of the the open sky as you hike uphill though its trails.
1297 Trevilian Way, Louisville, KY 40213.
6. Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve
The Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is a 170-acre preserve with over 9 miles of wooded paths and grassy plains. Listen to the gentle trickling of the many streams here as you hike through this magical forest.
The Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is located at 12501 Harmony Landing Rd, Goshen, KY 40026.
7. Iroquois Park
This park provides arguably the best views of the city from its summit, which can be reached
by a trail on foot. From the heights of the overlook you can see the far-away skyline of
downtown Louisville. While this uphill climb is difficult for some, the view is well worth the hike.
Iroquois Park is located at 2120 Rundill Rd, Louisville, KY 40214.
8. Anchorage Trail
Explore the paths lined with beautiful flowering plants at Anchorage Trail. Watch for the deer that often graze in the grassy fields found here.
Anchorage Trail is located at 11507 Park Rd Anchorage, KY 40223.
9. The Louisville Nature Center
This nature preserve is a great place to take the family for a scenic and educational hike. This preserve offers a short 1.5 mile trail as well as a longer 7.5 mile trail for more experienced hikers. Stop by the educational center to learn fun facts about the wildlife that lives here.
The Louisville Nature Center is located at 3745 Illinois Ave, Louisville, KY 40213.
10. E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park
Along with the numerous sporting fields that fill this 550-acre park, Tom Sawyer Park also has a fitness and nature trail to explore on your next hike.
E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park is located at 3000 Freys Hill Rd, Louisville, KY 40241.
11. McNeely Lake Park
Walk the dirt trails around McNeely Lake Park before relaxing at the shores of these serene waters.
McNeely Lake Park is located at 10500 Cedar Creek Rd, Louisville, KY 40229.
If you’re a fan of exploring the outdoors, give these beautiful Louisville parks a look. As always, let us know what your favorite place to hike is in the comments below or on Facebook!