Whether you identify as a runner, fast walker, or recreational dog walker, you’re probably well-versed in the public parks around your house. In the past year, record numbers of people have flocked to their nearest park for recreation, exercise, social activities, and enjoying nature. Everyone has been spending more time outside, and it’s no wonder why—Just 20 minutes in a park is proven to have a sizable effect on mental health by reducing anxiety and improving sense of wellbeing! Public parks have become a safe haven, a neutral, grounding space that can be enjoyed for free, anytime of day.
If you live in Louisville, Kentucky, or the surrounding areas, you probably have a favorite park or two. Jefferson County boasts over 120 parks, so chances are, you haven’t seen them all. Keep reading to learn about 10 of the best, lesser-known parks and trails in Louisville.
10 Underrated Parks in Louisville, Kentucky
1. Arthur K. Draut Park
There’s a park right behind the malls?! Hidden in suburban St. Matthews, Arthur K. Draut Park offers 25 acres of native wetlands, beautiful landscape, and paved paths.
2. Shawnee Park
An expansive 285 acres along the Ohio River, Shawnee Park offers baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, and volleyball courts! Enjoy multipurpose fields, miles of paved walking/running trails, and beautiful views of the Ohio, as well.
3. Fairmont Falls
Only three cars are allowed at Fairmont Falls, per day! Located in South Louisville, this hidden-gem of a park offers a short trail to a huge, stunning waterfall. Make sure to book your visit a few days in advance!
4. Broad Run Park
The southernmost park in the Parklands of Floyds Fork, Broad Run was opened in 2016 and only continues to expand. It contains over 600 acres of paved and wooded trails, a scenic overlook, huge meadows, multiple fishing/paddling access points, a kid’s waterpark, pavilions, and a state-of-the-art woodland garden.
5. Lannan Memorial Park
Another beautiful park along the Ohio River, Lannan Memorial is located in the heart of the Portland Neighborhood, adjacent to the Portland Wharf Park. Enjoy verdant trails and fields along the Ohio, jump on the Louisville Loop biking paths, or play basketball. Plus, Lannan will soon be a short walk from the Future Waterfront Park Expansion.
6. Iroquois Park
Iroquois is pretty popular, but it offers so much that it’s worth a mention! Tucked in the midst of downtown Louisville, Iroquois features miles of forest with hiking trails, paved paths, a huge golf course, a frisbee golf course, an outdoor amphitheater, a horse paddock and paths, a stunning scenic overlook, basketball courts, a playground, event patios, huge meadows, ponds, and more. You can explore Iriquois for months and still have more to see.
7. Waverly Park
You may know Waverly for the infamous sanitarium on its grounds, but did you know that it’s also a 300 acre park? Just south of Iriquois, Waverly offers a beautiful fishing pond, mountain bike trails, miles of forested walking paths, a golf course, and a dog park.
8. Tyler Park
If you love Cherokee and Seneca Parks but find them too busy, head over to Tyler Park, located off of Baxter Ave in the Highlands! While fairly small, Tyler Park offers 13 acres of multi-purpose fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, and nice paved paths.
9. Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
This 300-acre historic property on the river offers beautiful grounds to explore, sprawling fields, and miles of walking/biking paths either North or South, via accessing the Louisville Loop.
10. Long Run Park
On the eastern outskirts of Louisville, Long Run features a huge pond for kayaking and fishing, a 2-mile paved loop, a golf course, baseball fields, picnic spots, and a playground/sprayground. This 400-acre park is truly a well-kept neighborhood secret!
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