Kentucky has some stunning parks, but Louisville is pretty lucky to be surrounded by many of the most beautiful parks that our state has to offer! These 11 amazing state parks in Kentucky are all less than 100 miles from Louisville, which makes them perfect places to visit for memorable day trips and epic weekend getaways!

We really are lucky to be surrounded by such amazing parks. While there are hundreds of beautiful spots around the state, these are just a handful of highlights that are close to Louisville and easy to get to, no matter what type of adventure you’re looking for!

What are your favorite Kentucky state parks to visit near Louisville? Did we miss any of your can’t-miss spots? Share your thoughts and favorite locations with us in the comments below!

For another beautiful place to explore in Kentucky’s largest city, check out this beautiful park that boasts the best views of downtown Louisville!

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State parks to visit near Louisville

What's the most famous park in Kentucky?

Kentucky is world-famous for Mammoth Cave National Park, and it's truly a bucket-list destination. A network of underground passageways and tunnels that forms the longest cave system in the entire world, Mammoth Cave is home to over 130 species of wildlife and almost every type of cave formation, making it the world’s most diverse series of caverns. It's amazing, and a huge point of pride for us here in Kentucky!

What are some other beautiful places to visit near Louisville?

While we definitely think you should plan to visit all of the above state parks near Louisville, the Bluegrass State is also home to numerous other spots where you can revel in our lovely landscape. Iroquois Park Overlook is one of them. A popular place for all sorts of festivals and events, this park is also a wonderful day trip destination for those looking to escape in nature for a bit. The overlook is located just a stone’s throw from Kentucky’s largest city; from the top of this perch, you’ll enjoy picture-perfect panoramas of Louisville for miles and miles. The path is short — just 1.2 miles — and the views are expansive. If you’re looking for a beautiful, short-and-sweet hike in Kentucky, this is it!

What are some hidden gem parks near Louisville?

We are partial to the new Coach Lester G. Mimms Trail, and think it belongs on every Kentuckian's bucket list! It's just two miles long, and connects two Kentucky State Parks: the Historic Cherokee Park and Kenlake State Resort Park. But this trail does so much more than merely bridge two formerly disparate parks. Named after long-time Kentucky Park Superintendent Coach Lester Mimms, this trail is significant for numerous reasons. Cherokee State Park was originally a blacks-only state park, created to complement the then-whites-only Kentucky Lake State Park (now Kenlake State Resort Park). Today, however, this new trail represents not only a literal bridging between two Bluegrass parks, but also a symbolic connection between two cultures. Definitely check it out!