Prettiest Parks in Louisville, Kentucky

Photo of Shyla Watson
9 February 2017

As the largest city in Kentucky, Louisville keeps a pretty consistent, and warm, temperature throughout the year, which makes it an ideal place for parks. Some of them have rivers and bays, bike and running paths, playgrounds, and even wildlife. Read our list to discover the most scenic parks in Louisville, Kentucky.

Autumn in Cherokee Park | ©LuAnn Snawder Photography/Flickr

Cherokee Park

Park with scenic loop

Perfect for a long stroll, Cherokee Park features a 2.4-mile long loop around the park. There’s a path for pedestrians and bikers and a separate road for motorists, and if you want an activity that’s more active than walking, Cherokee Park, which is nearly 400 acres large, has a plethora of options. Do something animal oriented, such as fishing, playing Frisbee with your dog at the dog park, or go horseback riding! If you enjoy playing sports, the options are endless, with basketball and tennis courts, baseball field, and an area for archery and golf. At Cherokee, you can bring the whole family down for a day of fun!

Evening at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park | ©Jason Meredith/Flickr

E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park

Eclectic state park

If there is an activity you want to do outdoors, the E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer Park offers a free place to do it. The most notable feature of the 500-acre land is the swimming pool – for a small fee or with a season pass, locals can cool off with a dip in the pool. The pool also hosts swimming lessons and exercise classes. The park has ordinary attributes, such as a dog park, multi-purpose path, and hiking trails, but the park is known for its extraordinary facilities. Stop by the Astronomy Center to gaze at the stars or attend one of their free monthly Star Parties. Play an array of sports, including badminton, basketball, pickle-ball, softball, soccer, and tennis. Frequent visitors may take archery lessons, ride on the BMX track, fly model airplanes on a radio-controlled airfield, bird watch, or plant something at the community garden.

Shawnee Lake | ©w.marsh/Flickr

Shawnee Park

Popular public park

Louisville’s Shawnee Park is a popular place for families, friends, and the community to come together. The park has a pond and is adjacent to the river, creating beautiful and pleasant scenery, in addition to being a nice place for water activities. Ideal for families, use the grill to barbecue up some burgers and hot dogs and eat them around the provided picnic tables. Kids can play on the playgrounds, which are wheelchair accessible, while the rest of the family engages in a fun game of touch football. Shawnee is also a great venue for special events, such as company retreats, community camps, birthday parties, sports games, parades, and more.

Sundown Over Waterfront Park | ©David Kidd/Flickr

Louisville Waterfront Park

Picturesque waterfront park

Located in downtown Louisville, the park is adjacent to the Ohio River, Louisville’s wharf, and Riverfront Plaza. This park receives nearly 2 million visitors annually and is the largest public park in the nation to offer free wifi. It’s no doubt that this attracts a lot of people, but so do the grand bridges, adventure playgrounds, and boating areas, and this is also the place where people go to watch Thunder Over Louisville, an annual fireworks exhibition, in addition to other concerts, festivals, and special events. Don’t be surprised if you walk by a wedding taking place, as the park is so lovely many locals use it as a venue for various events.

Deer in Iroquois Park | ©Pen Waggener/Flickr

Iroquois Park

Hillside forests

Iroquois Park is one of the few parks in Kentucky that features an amphitheater, a large outdoor theatre and stage, which can accommodate nearly 2,500 people. Thanks to this amazing space, many plays, concerts, and shows take place. Coming in at over 700 acres, it’s also the largest park featured on our list. Play disc golf, go horseback riding, hike trails, and more at this lovely location. The park is especially beautiful at sunrise, and it gets so dewy that you’ll imagine yourself in the English countryside. Grab a blanket and picnic basket, as you curl up with your favorite book and enjoy the great outdoors.

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