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Fall Walks with Peanut

This afternoon I came home from a long day at work to find my dog Peanut looking at me with an all-too-familiar expression. That expression read: “Let’s go to The Parklands,” and after being cooped up at my desk for the majority of the day, I couldn’t have agreed more.

So we hopped in the car and headed to Pope Lick, a segment of The Parklands just a few miles down the road from my home. Due to the large amount of rain the area received this week, I decided to walk on the portion of the paved Louisville Loop that connects Pope Lick Park to Beckley Creek Park called "Trestle Point".

One of the reasons why I love this specific section of the Louisville Loop so much is that near the beginning of the hike the path goes underneath train tracks. This provides a great visual. Although Peanut is more interested in smelling each and every tree we pass, I personally can appreciate the juxtaposition of a man-made structure amongst nature. (click here to learn more about the legend of the Pope Lick Monster who is said to live on the tracks)

While we walk, I notice that many of the trees are in the transitional stage exclusive to autumn. Some leaves are still green, while others are brown, yellow or red, and some have fallen off entirely (click here to learn more about what makes leaves change color in autumn). I must admit: I love this time of year more than any other. The fall colors for some reason increase the enjoyment of my hikes. Maybe it’s because I know winter is just around the corner.

Speaking of corners: This section of the Louisville Loop is particularly loopy, with bends that wrap and twist around the natural lay of the land. As a result, most of the hike in this direction (towards Beckley Creek) has a natural up-hill incline. Only a half a mile into the walk, my heart rate has already kicked it up a notch.    

Here and there, Peanut interrupts our walk to sniff at a bit of moss or attempt to jump into the nearby creek. Her joyful abandon and clear enjoyment of our walk inspires me to keep going. Sometimes I wish I had her energy: No matter how long we walk, her enjoyment of exercising never wavers.

A mile and a half and 25 minutes later, Peanut and I have made it to the Beckley Creek entrance and decide to head back. I’m a bit winded, but I know I have a decline in the path to look forward to. Although Peanut seems reluctant to go in a direction we’ve already hiked, eventually she gets on board and continues her relentless exploration of the path.

Back at the Pope Lick entrance, Peanut and I take a breather and realize we’ve trekked three miles, which took about an hour after all was said and done. Not bad for a spur-of the-moment walk after a hard day’s work!

In the end, I’m glad Peanut gave me the expression that said, “Let’s go to the Parklands,” and that I agreed. 

About the Author

Picture of Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick

Northern Kentucky native Rachel Zabonick moved to Louisville a few years ago and never looked back. A graduate of Ohio University, Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism. She is an Editor by day and enthusiastic hiker by night. When not exploring The Parklands of Floyds Fork with her dog Peanut, you might find her enjoying a good book or spending time with family. Fun fact: Rachel can solve a Rubik cube in under two minutes.

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