Our city boasts one of only four complete park systems in the world designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. This summer, why not use it to get out and get moving?

One of the things that makes our city such a liveable one is that we have an almost perfectly balanced equation of urban and green spaces. In case you haven’t counted lately, Louisville is home to an impressive 122 parks in our city, covering 12,500 acres.

And it’s not just vast acreage. These are brilliantly planned parks (did we say Olmsted?), many of which have been enhanced in recent years to become virtual utopias for a whole host of good-for-you, good-for-your-family outdoor activities.

To inspire you, here’s a snapshot of three. (But you can check out all of them and their surprising facilities at louisvilleky.gov/government/parks.)

The Parklands at Floyds Fork

Nearly 4,000 acres

47 miles of walking, running, hiking and biking trails

19 miles of the Louisville Loop run through the park

43 different kinds of mammals in the park

110 different species of trees

More than 400 herbaceous plants

More than 10 million recorded visitors

20 sports fields

22-acre Egg Lawn

Fishing and boating

Fenced-in dog run called The Barklands

Louisville Extreme Park

A 40,000-sq.-ft. concrete skate park, for skaters and bikers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Features:

A 24-ft. full pipe

Two 11-ft. bowls

Two 8-ft. bowls

One 6-ft. bowl

Two 4-ft. bowls

A street course

A 6-ft. flat bank

A 12-ft. wooden vertical ramp with a 13-ft. extension.

Central Park

17 acres

146 years old

Originally the country estate of the DuPont family

Site of the 1883 Southern Exposition

Site of the annual Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; parts of the St. James Court Art Show; the Old Louisville LIVE concert series; Jazz in Central Park; and the annual Victorian Tales of Terror Halloween event


E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park

550 acres

600-seat gymnasium that has indoor courts for badminton, basketball, and volleyball

Olympic-sized swimming pool

Weight room

12 tennis courts

14 soccer fields

Three lighted softball fields

A mile-long fitness trail

1¼ mile nature trail

A permanent BMX track

A model aircraft airfield

A dog park

Playgrounds and picnic facilities

Site of the Louisville Astronomical Society’s “Urban Astronomy Center”

Opened in 1974

Posted on 2018-06-08 by Steve Kaufman