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A guide to Louisville’s extraordinary parks

We’re highlighting the top parks that Louisville has to offer — complete with splash pads, playgrounds, walking trails, and dog-friendly spaces.

Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY

Waterfront Park boasts 85 acres of greenery along the Ohio River.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Tourism

Table of Contents

Whether you’re looking for a place to play with your kiddos or just want to decompress with off-screen time, we’ve rounded up 15+ parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy. Ready to plan your trip? Grab your shades and your water bottle — here are some of Louisville’s best:

For Families 🧸

Cherokee Park Pergola

The pergolas at Cherokee Park provide shaded space for picnics and other gatherings.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Tourism

Central Park, 1140 S. 4th St.
Home to the annual Shakespeare in the Park performances, Central Park covers 16.67 acres in Old Louisville. Its grounds feature an amphitheater, arbor, memorial, pergola, picnic tables, playground, and more.

Cherokee Park, 745 Cochran Hill Rd.
Characterized by long winding roads that open to beautiful vistas and large open spaces, Cherokee Park’s 380+ acres include areas for fishing, grilling, archery, sledding, and more. Its main feature is the 2.4-mile Scenic Loop, which boasts separate lanes for vehicle traffic and recreational users.

E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, 3000 Freys Hill Rd.
Set on 554 acres that were once farmland, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park boasts a pool, splash pad, astronomy center, archery range, dog park, hiking trails, and more. The huge park also includes 14 soccer fields, six tennis courts, and 16 outdoor pickleball courts.

Iroquois Park, 5216 New Cut Rd.
The two main features of Iroquois Park’s 725+ acres are the amphitheater that seats more than 2,000 people, and the North Overlook, which boasts a meandering, wheelchair-accessible path that overlooks downtown Louisville and the Indiana Knobs. The park also includes numerous other amenities, including horse riding trails, an archery area, and a disc golf course.

Seneca Park, 3151 Pee Wee Reese Rd.
Encompassing more than 560 acres, Seneca Park includes a golf course, baseball fields, cross country trails, horseback riding trails, picnic tables, a playground, and a 1.2-mile long walking path. The Trust for Public Land states that Seneca Park has 500,000 annual visitors, making it one of the top 100 municipal parks in the US.

Waterfront Park, 129 River Rd.
With 85 acres of greenery, this park boasts playgrounds, picnic areas, the Big Four Bridge, and more. It’s also home to numerous events and festivals, including Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks show in North America.

For Nature Lovers 🌳

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An Eastern Garden Snake sits on a pile of leaves at Beckley Creek.

Beckley Creek Park, 411 Beckley Creek Pkwy.

Beckley Creek is a traditional urban park, offering picnic areas, fishing lakes, farmers markets, and community gardens. The Gheens Foundation Lodge is also a gorgeous wedding venue.

Broad Run Park, 11511 Bardstown Rd.
With ~600 acres of waterfalls, hardwood forests, lookout points, and amenities, Broad Run Park features numerous tree-lined trails and paths. Don’t miss Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden, a 15-acre hiking-only garden.

Pope Lick Park, 4002 South Pope Lick Rd.
With access to Floyds Fork and the Louisville Loop, Pope Lick Park is the home of local folklore — some swear to have seen the half-man, half-goat creature known as the Pope Lick Monster traversing its grounds. For those uninterested in superstitions, a paved track known as the fitness circle is a great place to go for a walk or run.

The Strand, 6510 Echo Trail
The Strand connects the northern and southern parts of The Parklands. More than five miles of the Louisville Loop runs through The Strand, crossing bridges and winding along agricultural fields.

Turkey Run Park, Seatonville Road
Access this 800-acre greenspace by taking the Billtown Road exit on I-265. Once home to dairy farms and golf courses, this space has been converted back into meadow and forests, full of deer and wild turkey.

For Furry Friends 🐾

Dogs at Morton Street Free Dog Park

Dogs play at Morton Street Free Dog Park.

Photo by LOUtoday

The Barklands of Floyds Fork, 1411 Beckley Creek Pkwy.
This dog park is tucked between The Egg Lawn and I-64 on approximately four acres of Beckley Creek Park. The area is divided into areas for small dogs, all dogs, and resting.

Champions Dog Run, 2050 River Rd.
This dog run is the first feature of the new Champions Park, which includes the former Louisville Soccer Park and site of the River Road Country Club. Separated for all dogs and small dogs, Champions Dog Run boasts drinking water and lots of space for furry friends to run around.

Cochran Hill Dog Run, 745 Cochran Hill Rd.
Cochran Hill Dog Run is set at the northern end of Cherokee Park. The area is about three acres and is divided into sides for all-dog use and small-dog use.

Morton Street Free Dog Park, 1418 Morton Ave.
The only free, off-leash dog park in Louisville features shaded benches and a plethora of dog toys to share. The fenced-in grounds are well maintained and offer lots of space for running and playing.

Old Louisville Dog Run, 1215 S. Brook St.
Set in Toonerville Trolley Park, this dog run consists of two 11,500-sqft areas. One is built over the old tennis court, and the other is on the grassy area toward the back of the park.

Sawyer Dog Park, 3000 Freys Hill Rd.
Part of E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, Sawyer Dog Park was the first official off-leash dog park in LOU. It spans across about six acres and is divided into spaces for small dogs and all dogs.

Vettiner Dog Run, 5550 Charlie Vettiner Park Rd.
Located behind the tennis courts along the southern boundary of Charlie Vettiner Park, this dog run is about two acres big and is divided into areas for small dogs and all dogs. Set at the high point of the park, it offers a sweeping view of the park and its surrounding areas.

Waverly Dog Run, 4800 Waverly Park Rd.
Set in the woods and past the lake area of Waverly Park, this dog run is about 1.5 acres big. It features one large area for all dogs.

Your park grab bag

Picked your perfect park? Make the most out of your experience with our favorite items for a relaxing day outside:

  • Is there anything quite like sitting in the shade and enjoying a good book? Check out our guide to books by local authors to help choose your next great read.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite is a lightweight e-reader option that stands up to bright sunlight.
  • A good water bottle keeps you hydrated — we’re big fans of the best-selling Owala FreeSip + this insulated stackable tumbler from Asheville NC-based retailer Pirani.
  • Heading to the park with kids? Check out the Owala FreeSip for kids.
  • Don’t forget the travel-size bug spray and sunscreen.
  • These sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack are available at discount prices + have a style for everyone.
  • Keep it all together in a handy tote bag — these adorable tote bags are all crafted by small businesses and local makers.

Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.

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