The Best 5 Hikes in Louisville, Kentucky

There are three things that make Louisville, Kentucky so special: bourbon, horses, and stunning forested landscapes. People don't typically talk about the natural beauty in Louisville. Fun fact, Louisville is home to the largest urban forest in the US. Whether you are exploring an urban park in central Louisville, hunting down an abandoned theme park, relaxing on a beach, or exploring caves and waterfalls has tons of opportunities to put on your hiking boots, strap on your hydro pack, and escape into nature.

Continue to read to find out the 5 best hikes in Louisville, KY.

Best hikes in Louisville

1. Cherokee Park & Cherokee Trail 

Cherokee Park is a big, beautiful park that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted winding through the Highlands, the artsy, historic neighborhood in the middle of Louisville. Cherokee Park is hilly and forested over 389 acres, and through it winds a myriad of walking paths, hiking trails, and biking routes. There is even a 2.4-mile scenic loop that you can walk or do by car if you're the kind of person who doesn't get lost easily and can follow signs. The trail is a meandering loop that takes you through the true heart of Cherokee Park.

2. Jefferson Memorial Forest & Scott's Gap Trail 

Jefferson Memorial Forest is the best place to go to get away from the city. Located 30 minutes from downtown, Jefferson Memorial feels like stepping out into undisturbed nature. 6,500 acres, this forest is the largest municipal urban forest in the US. The Scott's Gap Trail is a hike that will give you a feel of difficult Kentucky terrain, taking in lush Jurassic-looking ferns next to the deep red clay of Kentucky.

3. Harrods Creek Park & Blue Trail

Located 20 minutes from downtown in the suburb of Prospect, Harrods Creek is located in Hunting Creek. Blue Trail is a rolling little path that will take you to a nicely shaded forest. There are two lookout points with swinging benches, where you can sit and enjoy the views of rolling meadows below. This trail crosses little creeks on quaint wooden bridges and past big moss-covered boulders. The Blue Trail leads to a small but sandy beach.

4. The Parklands of Floyd Fork & Wild Hyacinth Trail 

The Parklands of Floyd Fork is located 20 miles away from downtown, where you will find a more rural part of the city and one of the biggest parks in Louisville. Made up of four separate parks that span over 4,000 acres, there are 60 miles of hiking trails. The Wild Hyacinth Trail will take you into a lush forest and then across a hilly meadow, where you will find all sorts of wildflowers dotting the hills. There are black-eyed Susans, echinacea, milkweed, and plenty of other colorful flowers with busy bees flitting to and fro.

5. Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden Trail 

Located in Broadrun Park, the Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden Trail is an easy hike, but one that packs a lot of wildlife in a little space. The Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden was designed to show off the best of Kentucky native shade plants, covering this woodland hillside with thousands of native perennials, like mayapple, as well as other shrubs and ferns. The idea was to create spaces within the undergrowth that feel like rooms, with the trail taking you up a forested hillside along Floyds Fork, where the main stream cuts through the park, with stunning overlooks of the water.

Interested in spending the day exploring beautiful trails in Louisville, KY? From the largest urban park in the US to trails that bring you through the most stunning forested areas in the south. Explore the best of Louisville today. 

 

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