Parks

Cherokee Park

Cherokee Park is a 409-acre municipal park located along Cherokee Parkway and Grinstead Drive in The Highlands neighborhood of Louisville. The park was designed by famed park architect Frederick Law Olmstead in 1891 on part of a 4,000-acre military land grant from 1773. Two tunnels carry I-64 under Cherokee Park, built in the late 1960s to help lessen the impact the highway would have on the parkland. The park was damaged in the 1974 Super Outbreak, where thousands of mature trees were decimated by the tornadoes in early April of that year. With help from the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 and consultation of the original Olmstead plans, Cherokee Park was brought back to life with 2,500 trees and 4,600 shrubs.

Daniel Boone Statue in Cherokee Park

Amenities at Cherokee Park

Several amenities and landmarks dot the green space in Cherokee Park, including the 2.43-mile Scenic Loop. The mixed-use road circles the heart of the park, providing motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians with plenty of room to explore.

Big Rock is a large rock in Beargrass Creek, which is used as a picnicking spot and -- for the crazy ones -- a place to take a dive into the creek.

A fenced-off dog park at Baringer Hill provides Fido and Fluffy with unleashed fun. The hill itself is also perfect for those days when the winds are right for kite flying.

Speaking of dogs, there's also a place for your pups (and ponies) to take a cool drink called Hogan's Fountain. The fountain is atop a hill within the Scenic Loop and was sculpted by local artisan Enid Yandell in 1905. The area around the fountain includes the Hogan's Fountain Pavilion -- a teepee-styled gazebo and gathering spot for the entire...

E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer Park

EP Tom Sawyer Park entrance signE.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre park in Louisville, located off of Westport Road in the Freys Hill neighborhood. Opened in 1974, Tom Sawyer Park was established on land previously owned by Central State Hospital, and named after Louisville native Diane Sawyer's father, Jefferson County Judge/Executive Erbon Powers "Tom" Sawyer.

Amenities at Tom Sawyer Park

Amenities at Tom Sawyer Park include two hiking trails: a 1-mile Fitness Trail where all can enjoy the various maples, oaks and sycamores along the way, then stop at the fitness area for strength and cardio training; and the 1.25-mile Goose Creek Trail, where hikers can happen upon American turkeys, several wild birds, and white tail deer appearing from the woods and grassy meadows. Dog owners can bring Fido and Fluffy to the dog park in the northeast corner of Tom Sawyer Park. The six-acre facility is split into three two-acre tracts: one for dogs under 30 pounds, and two for all dogs. You can also keep their leashes in your bag, as the park is an off-leash zone -- the first of its kind in Louisville. Access is available with a membership to the Louisville Dog Run Association. Stargazers can keep looking up with the Louisville Astronomical Society's monthly Star Parties. The free events at LAS' astronomy center at Tom Sawyer allow any and all to bring their telescopes and binoculars to see the amazing wonders in the night sky. Space programs and telescope lessons round out the offerings. Athletic types have a wide range of activities awaiting them at Tom Sawyer, from basketball and archery, to soccer and BMX; the BMX course at the park is one of the best in the nation, and is host to the National BMX Grand Championships every Labor Day weekend. Hobbyists also have a home at Tom Sawyer....

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is an 85-acre municipal park draping the northern portion of Louisville along the Ohio River. The park first opened in 1998, and has expanded over the years with future phases up and coming. The land making up Waterfront Park was used for industrial purposes prior to its construction, but also holds a rich history dating back to Louisville's early days in the late 1770s. Over 1.5 million visitors explore the park annually.

Waterfront Park, Louisville KY

Amenities at Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is home to two major pieces of the puzzle: the Great Lawn and the Big Four Bridge. The former is used for a handful of festivals and concerts throughout the year, and is a perfect place to catch a few rays or watch the barges and steamboats traverse the Ohio. The latter began life as a railroad bridge, which fell into disuse between 1969 and its transformation into a pedestrian bridge between 2009 and 2014. If you're wanting to give your data plan a break, Waterfront Park has free Wi-Fi, the largest park in the U.S. to offer such service. Linear fountains, docks for boats, and a long mixed-use trail encircling the city are also at Waterfront Park.

Events at Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is home to several large gatherings and events throughout the year. The month of April occupies the Great Lawn and the Big Four with all things Derby, beginning with Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America. Over 600,000 attend Thunder annually, taking in the afternoon airshow and evening celebration of fire and thunder. Following Thunder on the last days prior to the Kentucky Derby is the Kentucky Derby Festival's Fest-a-Ville. Concerts, the Chow Wagon, rides, and several events fill the days leading up to the biggest show in horse racing with joyous celebration....