It has been a little while since one of our favorite volunteers and ambassadors, La Verne Cook, shared tips and experience with others in her blog post “Physical Limitations? The Parklands is for You”. Since then, we’ve opened up more than 2,000 additional acres of parkland for exploring, completing the southern portion of our park system, as well as the full 19 miles of Louisville Loop connecting all four parks. With this added space comes additional amenities, trails and features specially designed to serve people of all ages and abilities.
So just what do our parks have to offer? Keep reading to learn more about the fully accessible options throughout The Parklands system.
Many families are familiar with our popular playground and sprayground areas, but they might not be aware of all of the features that were carefully chosen to make sure these spaces are fun for everyone. Playgrounds in both Beckley Creek and Broad Run parks offer separate areas for children ages 2-5 and children ages 6-12, wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, fully-accessible restroom facilities, adjacent parking, and beautiful landscaping and stone fencing for parents and grandparents to enjoy while watching the kids.
In Broad Run Park, the Cliffside Playground & Sprayground includes a shaded shelter and is adjacent to an ADA-Approved paved trail system that allows for further exploration of the park from the playground site. Swing chairs were installed to support the entire body weight of a child. An ADA-Approved path was installed among the mulch in the playground area in order to allow for wheelchair access, giving all kids a way to be in the center of the “action.”
Special thanks to the D.R.E.A.M. Foundation and Kosair Charities for their support, which helped fund our two playground and sprayground areas, including the accessible features.
Miles Lakes have been a part of Louisville since before construction of our donor-supported park began. But once taken over by The Parklands, parking, picnic areas and other features were added, including an ADA accessible fishing pier at Green Heron Lake. This pier is near parking and allows those with limited mobility, or who use wheelchairs, a way to enjoy a day fishing on the lake.
A second ADA accessible fishing pier is available at Boulder Pond in Turkey Run Park. Just a short walk from parking, this peaceful area is perfect for those looking for a fishing spot away from the crowd. Thanks to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, William F. Miles Lakes are occasionally stocked with catfish, trout and sunfish. Boulder Pond is occasionally stocked with trout.
Lake Access Trail – Park at Miles Trailhead near the northern most entrance of the park for a walk on this short, asphalt trail. Mainly an angler’s access trail, curious visitors looking for a nice view can also venture down this path where a scenic overlook and picnic area await.
Egg Lawn Signature Loop –In the mood for a loop? Walkers are encouraged to circle our 22-acre Egg Lawn along this 0.7 mile paved path. There’s even a cut through that explores the trees of the Egg Lawn. Parking lots encircle the loop offering an easy way to enter and exit the pathway, while benches along the pathway offer a place to stop and rest or just to sit and enjoy the scenery.
Fitness Circle – This paved 0.7 mile Fitness Circle around the sports fields of Pope Lick Park is a great place to walk a dog or watch the friendly competition on the fields. Similar to the Egg Lawn, this pathway offers multiple access points from parking lots and frequent benches to stop and rest.
Bullfrog Crossing Excursion Trail – This easy and fully-accessible asphalt trail connects the Sky Meadows parking area to Sky Dome and past Duck Pond eventually running into the Louisville Loop. Park at Boulder Pond to access this trail, which is just under a mile, but close to 2 miles round-trip.
Highland Crossing Trail – This 0.87-mile paved trail in the Highland Crossing section of Broad Run Park winds through karst terrain and along the forest edge, offering trekkers views of a variety of landscapes. The trail ties into both the Louisville Loop and Karst Climb for those looking for a lengthier or more challenging walk or run.
Greensward Trail – Our final 0.7-mile loop trail is located in the Cliffside area of Broad Run Park encircling The Greensward—a 15-acre green space where families gather to picnic and play. This paved, fully accessible trail is also a short walk from the Cliffside Playground and Sprayground. The Greensward is unshaded, so make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen!
Lowland Plain Trail – This 0.81-mile paved, fully accessible trail for walkers, runners and bicyclists links into the Greensward Trail, offering a flat path to extend your walk or run in Broad Run Park. This path is also free of shade, so don’t forget that hat and sunscreen.
Louisville Loop – 19 miles of the Louisville Loop trail run through The Parklands, stretching from Shelbyville Road in the north to Bardstown Road in the south. While the pathway is paved and fully accessible, level of difficulty varies. The flattest portions of the pathway are located in Pope Lick Park and The Strand—a small collection of land that connects Pope Lick and Turkey Run parks. To quickly access the Pope Lick section, you can park at the lot near the Pope Lick entrance or in the large parking lot at the sports fields.
For the quickest access to The Strand, park at Seaton Valley Trailhead in Turkey Run Park and head north, crossing Seatonville Road. The southern section of The Strand offers a variety of landscapes, including farm fields and creekside views. It is currently 6 miles to the next trailhead in Pope Lick Park, so remember to take this into account before you begin so you can head back before you need a break or to refill your water bottle.
This comprehensive list includes existing accessible features, but as we like to say in the parks world, a park is never finished. This summer, we will break ground on a new trailhead located in The Strand. Once completed, this new parking lot, water fountain and restroom facility will offer better access into the heart of The Strand, giving visitors a quick way to access and explore this peaceful section of The Parklands. The Strand trailhead is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.
No matter what level of difficulty and accessibility you are looking for, we hope that you can visit The Parklands soon to find your perfect, outdoor experience.
(Click here to read La Verne’s original post highlighting accessible areas in Beckley Creek Park.)
Anna Rosales-Crone was hired as Communications Coordinator in May of 2015 to help build park awareness through public relations and marketing. She will also support managing The Parklands brand, website and social media. She comes to us from the American Red Cross where she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for a year, promoting disaster preparedness. Following her year of service, she was hired as the chapter’s Communications Associate, growing the Louisville Area Chapter’s digital and social media presence while supporting public relations and marketing efforts. She provided public affairs support and guidance during major disaster operations. Anna is a graduate of the University of Evansville where she met her husband and the second love of her life—traveling. She also enjoys reading, baking, dancing, going to concerts and hanging out with her two cats. Contact me about: media relations, speaker requests, photo requests, website and social media.
Being a donor-supported public park means we rely on donations, not tax dollars, for annual operations each year. Because of your generosity, we are able to maintain, program, and further develop this extraordinary public space without charging an entry fee. Together we work to enhance quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable for people of all ages. Help us reach our goal of sustaining The Parklands by becoming a Member today. Members make it happen!
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