Seneca Park is a 531.5-acre park municipal park located along Pee Wee Reese Road at the northwest corner of Bowman Field, Louisville's general aviation airport which served as the city's major airport until the opening of Louisville International Airport in 1947. Opened in 1928, the park is the last park in Lousville designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead, established on land previously owned by Baron von Zedtwitz, a lieutenant in the German military in World War I. Along with neighboring Cherokee Park, Seneca Park attracts 500,000 annually. Seneca Park's location makes it ideal for people who live the Crescent Hill neighborhood. It also is fairly convienent for people who live in St. Matthews and even The Highlands, though Cherokee Park is also
Amenities at Seneca Park
The biggest amenity at Seneca Park is Bowman Field. The 200-acre general aviation airport is a part of the park, the result of a bond made by Louisville's city government in 1927 which was structured to allow the land to be used as a park; the airport pays $1 to the city annually as a result. Four buildings at Bowman are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the terminal tower built in 1936. Today, the terminal is home to French restaurant Bistro Le Relais, and the Eagles Nest, a private space available for rental for events and meetings.
The majority of Seneca Park itself is home to Seneca Park Golf Course. The 18-hole course was opened in 1934, and is considered the sixth-toughest course in all of Kentucky. Several national events have graced the greens over the years, including the 1958 Derby City Open, and rounds of the Hooters Tour between 1991 and 1997. A pro shop, driving range, and restaurant complete the amenities at Seneca Park Golf Course.
Other amenities at Seneca Park include: a 1.2-mile hiking trail; horse-riding trails; facilities for soccer, tennis, basketball and field hockey; a playground; and the Seneca Park Wilderness Loop, a 2.2-mile mountain-biking trail.
Events at Seneca Park
The largest events at Seneca Park are held at nearby Bowman Field. In late April, dozens of hot air balloons gather at the airport for the U.S. Bank Great Balloon Race. Part of the encompassing Kentucky Derby Festival, the balloon race is actually three different races held over the three mornings of the competition, concluding with the main event on the final day. The balloons pay a visit to Waterfront Park and Downtown Louisville during the first and second nights of the Great Balloon Race, lighting up the evening with flames and colorful displays from every balloon involved.
In October, Bowman Field pays tribute to its past as a major airport with the Bowman Field Aviation Heritage Festival. Two days of historic aircraft, food trucks, the Yum Brands Hot Air Balloon Rally, and fun for all await those who make the trek -- either by land or air -- to Bowman as the first days of autumn sweep through the city.