As the days continue to pass, it’s becoming more and more clear that winter is just around the corner.
That is why whenever I have the opportunity to enjoy a 50-degree day (perfect hiking weather) at The Parklands of Floyds Fork, I take advantage of it.
So the other day, when my sisters asked me to meet them at Pope Lick Park for an evening hike, I of course said yes.
We decided to give the Big Beech Trail a shot, a trail that takes you 1.57 miles through a wooded area. The trail head is about a quarter mile from the parking lot, located off of the Louisville Loop.
We took the crushed stone trail off of the Louisville Loop, just past the Pedestrian Bridge and headed out on the Prairie Preserve Trail (which leads to the Big Beech Trail). Just a little ways down we saw the entrance to the Big Beech Trail and cut over onto this dirt trail and into the woods.
The thing that strikes me the most about this trail is the solitude it provides. Pretty much the moment you enter the trail, you’re encompassed by tall trees. You get the sense that not much goes on here other than the goings-on of local wildlife. In fact, I couldn’t hear the highway at all, which is located just a few miles away.
This allowed for uninterrupted conversation. As my sisters and I walked, we talked about our day, gossiped a bit about our families, and just generally had a good time. Over the years, I’ve found that exercising together is a great way to bond with someone, whether they’re your sibling, significant other or friend.
One thing to note is that for about a quarter of a mile the Big Beech Trail goes uphill, so be prepared to sweat. Just a few minutes into the hike, my sisters and our dogs (three pups in all) were huffing and puffing away. Eventually though, the trail evens out, allowing your heart rate to slow down a bit (and conversation to pick back up again).
All-in-all, it took us about 30 minutes to hike the trail from start to finish and I really loved it. The whole time you’re surrounded by beautiful foliage, and the solitude provides for a bit of a getaway, somewhat like a mini-vacation (with just a bit more sweating involved).
Bottom line: Pope Lick Park trails offer a great hike for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. If you’re like me and don’t walk outdoors as much once winter hits, I suggest you enjoy it while you can!
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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