Wednesday November 13, 2019
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Louisville Offers Great Hiking Opportunities to Enjoy Nature

JeffersonMemorialForestHiking_7916We are well into summer 2016 and the weather has been, for the most part, wonderful.  School is ready to start back up, pools are filled, barbecues are lit, bike paths are bustling, and vacations are being planned – but you do not need to go on vacation to get away from it all.

The Louisville Metro Parks department affords outdoor enthusiasts from across the region many great opportunities to get out and enjoy nature on the various hiking trails in the area.  No matter where you are in Kentuckiana, the opportunity to connect with nature is not far away.

Jefferson Memorial Forest contains dozens of miles of hiking trails with trailheads at Horine Reservation, Tom Wallace Recreation Area, Paul Yost Recreation Area, and Scott’s Gap.  Other scenic nature hiking trails are available at Waverly Park, Beargrass Creek, Kapertown Swamp, Fairmount Falls, and Kulmer Reserve.  Note that some of the trails in Jefferson Memorial Forest can be quite strenuous and details about the trail should be researched before heading out.

If you prefer a more leisurely stroll to climbing the wooded hills of Jefferson Memorial, other area parks such as The Parklands – which has already reached 1 million visits for the year – offer easier trails.  To find a park near you, visit the Metro Parks website.

When hiking area trails, a few basic rules should be followed:

  • Stay on trails walking single file and do not shortcut corners.
  • Dispose of waste properly by carrying out litter.
  • Practice “negative trace” by picking up trash left by others when possible.
  • Respect wildlife – Do not try to attract or approach wildlife and never feed human food to animals.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times and clean up after them.
  • “Leave nature in nature” – Avoid moving rocks, picking plants, and disturbing cultural/historical artifacts. “Take only photos, leave only footprints.”
  • Carry a trail map with you. Maps are available at the Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center and the park website.
  • Carry water, snacks, and a small first aid kit to stay hydrated, ensure that you have plenty of energy, and can tend to small cuts and scrapes.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

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