Discover some of the most popular parks and playgrounds around the City of Louisville. The list below ranks our cities top parks to better help you discover new parks you may want to visit this summer.
Top Twelve Parks and Playgrounds in Louisville
1. The Parklands of Floyds Fork
Growing in popularity is one of my favorite parks to visit, the Parklands of Floyds Fork. A new park system that stretches alongside the Gene Snyder Freeway and Floyds Fork. A collection of four different, unique parks with plenty of amenities. The four parks include Beckley Creek Park, Pope Lick Park, Turkey Run Park and the newest one Broad Run Park.
Hiking in The Parklands
The Parklands features over 40 miles of trails throughout the park system that can be used for hiking and biking.
Beckley Creek Park
One of the most popular parks of the bunch is Beckley Creek Park. A great park located in Middletown and only minutes from the popular neighborhood Lake Forest. This park features a 22 acre Egg Lawn, splashgrounds and great playgrounds for toddlers and kids of all ages to enjoy.
Canoeing and Kayaking
If you are into paddling, Beckley Creek Park is also a great place to go canoeing and or kayaking if the water level is just right.
2. Cherokee Park
One of the all-time favorite parks for locals in Louisville is Cherokee Park. This park is a 'must see' for anyone who is visiting the Louisville area or thinking about relocating here. Cherokee Park is located near the Highlands and Cherokee Triangle neighborhoods. This park is more than 400 acres and is one of the original parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
Frequent visitors also enjoy spending time at Big Rock Park or letting their four legged friend play at Cochran Hill Run Dog Park. Both can be found in Cherokee Park.
Navigating Cherokee Park
There is beautiful 'Scenic Loop' that will take you throughout the park. The loop is a great route for walking, jogging and biking. Just remember, the secret to navigating the park is to keep left to stay inside the park, or continue to turn right if you want to leave the park.
3. Waterfront Park
A popular park located inside of Downtown Louisville is The Waterfront Park. Home to more than over 120 different events and concerts throughout the year. An 85 acre municipal park that runs alongside the Ohio River. Also, home of the Big Four Walking Bridge and the Adventure Playground Waterplay.
Waterfront park has great paved walking ways throughout for you to enjoy an afternoon stroll alongside the Ohio river.
4. Jefferson Memorial Forest
A great park to go hiking, camping and fishing. Jefferson Memorial Forest is one of the best parks in Louisville to visit to better explore nature but is still in close proximity to the city. A 6,500 acre forest that was originally established as a tribute for the veterans of Kentucky. Jefferson Memorial Forest is the largest, municipal urban forest in the United States.
Go Ape at Jefferson Memorial
Just recently, Go Ape opened to the public at Jefferson Memorial Forest. A zip line and treetop adventure for both kids (ages 10+) and adults to enjoy. Go Ape features five different treetop obstacle courses that are packed full of adventure.
5. E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park is located in the eastern part Jefferson County. Just near Anchorage and Springhurst. A 550 acre state park that is popular for its BMX bike track where they have hosted the BMX Nationals in years past. Also, a favorite is the Sawyer Dog Park, indoor basketball courts and more. This is a must see park for residents even outside of the Louisville area. Residents of Oldham County and other areas frequently visit this park as well.
6. Iroquois Park
Another Fredrick Law Olmstead designed park is the 739 acre Iroquois Park. This park is not just popular for the great playground for toddlers and kids but also because of the breathtaking views at the 'Overlook' at the top of the park. Local residents also enjoy visiting the park for the number of different events that are held at the Iroquois Amphitheater.
Iroquois Golf Course
Avid golfers also enjoy taking on the challenge of the hilly Iroquois golf course that is lined with tall, mature trees.
7. Seneca Park
Seneca Park has a great playground for kids in Louisville. Located only minutes from St Mathews, Seneca Park was the last park that was designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead and is a very popular park during the peak months in the summer. Many runners and joggers come here bright in early for the morning run. Seneca Park is also a great place for tennis meetups.
8. Joe Creason Park
A municipal park located just around the corner of the Louisville Zoo, off of Trevilion Way. On 63 acres with more than six miles of trails for hikers and cross-country runners. Joe Creason Park is also home to the Louisville Tennis Center’s nine clay tennis courts.
9. George Rogers Clark Park
George Rogers Clark is located in the Audubon Neighborhood, off of Popular Level Rd. A great park to visit for families during the winter months to go sledding or visit in the summer months to play on the playgrounds.
10. Long Run Park
Another one of the best parks in Louisville is Long Run Park. Located a little further away from Downtown Louisville than the other parks on the list. A very nice park to visit for fishing, to take the kids to play on the playgrounds, or cool off in the new spraygrounds addition. This park has a large loop that circles the large 28 acre lake for walking, running or biking.
11. McNeeley Lake Park
One of the largest parks in the Louisville Metro Park system is McNeeley Lake Park. Featuring a pier and boat ramp, visitors and residents enjoy fishing this 46 acre lake.
12. Charlie Vettiner Park
Charlie Vettiner Park is known for its well-maintained 18 hole golf course. But when visiting this park there are other things for you to enjoy as well, this park features a dog run, basketball courts, disc golf or you could even go fishing.
Rankings are compiled from multiple sources and then sorted by highest to lowest ratings.
What is the Importance of Local Parks?
Evidence shows that when residents have easy access to local parks, it helps increases the quality of life for the neighborhood and the community. People tend to start spending more time attending these parks and in return they become more active.
Quality Park System?
It is important to have a good quality park system in your neighborhood or community. Louisville's park system has not always received the 'best park ratings'. Unfortunately, compared to other cities in the United States, Louisville actually ranks towards the bottom of the list.
Despite the low score, you will notice that there are still some really great parks to visit throughout the Louisville area!
Enjoy Your Local Park Today
The City of Louisville and the residents who live close to these parks, take great pride in keeping them maintained for all visitors to enjoy. When visiting the parks in Louisville, remember to always pick up after yourself and also do your part to try and keep the parks clean!
What is your favorite park to visit?
Please comment below and share with anyone new to the area or may be thinking about relocating to Louisville and what to expect.
Nathan Garrett is a Licensed REALTOR in Louisville Kentucky. Manager and creator of the GarrettsRealty.com website. Specializing in Real Estate in the east end of Louisville and Oldham County. Questions about Real Estate? Give Him a Call!