One of the best ways to spend time with your family—fathers with their daughters in this case—is to take a walk. In every city where we have lived, I have enjoyed walking with my family in parks. From Louisville’s wonderful Olmsted parks and Waterfront Park, to The Parklands of Floyds Fork, to Central Park in NYC, to national parks out west, we have shared time making memories together in the outdoors. In an increasingly busy world dominated by computer and phone screens, time together outdoors allows all of us to get away in a place where we can interact directly with one another, and experience nature and the outdoors in a healthy and fun fashion.
One of the best places to walk in Louisville is The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Walking is the oldest form of human exercise. It creates great family bonding time, and is a great way to introduce your children to healthy outdoor activities, as well as form a connection to nature, all of which are major goals of The Parklands. Making nature and the outdoors accessible to all, whatever their age or ability level, was a core principle of The Parklands’ design. Unusually for a city park, we provide easy ways—the Louisville Loop, our hiking trails, our excursion trails—to access all kinds of natural habitats, from meadows to streambanks and upland forests. At any age, time spent away from the complexities of the modern world (and its many distractions) will build memories, closer family connections, and a closer connection to nature.
The Parklands offers a wide variety of experiences and challenges for walking with your daughters—from the paved, flat Louisville Loop multiuse trail, to hiking trails in the woods. Here is a sampling of five great walks in The Parklands of Floyds Fork:
There are many more trails in The Parklands to explore once you get started, so use this sampler as a simple menu, then begin to explore on your own. There are even areas, such as the Big Beech Woods in Pope Lick Park, where you can explore on your own one of the quietest, oldest forests in Louisville.
So, if you haven’t taken a walk with your daughter, or your family lately, use July 7th as an excuse to jumpstart one of the best and healthiest activities out there: a good walk!
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dan holds degrees from Yale University (B.A., M.F.) and Indiana University, Bloomington (Ph.D.). He has spent much of his working life in the fields of education and business management. In addition to founding and managing his own business, he taught World History and the History of the American West at the University of Louisville, and most recently, an Honors Seminar entitled “Reading the Natural Landscape.” In 2004, he founded 21st Century Parks, Inc. a nonprofit corporation created to bring fresh vision to the development and preservation of new public parklands. Their current project, The Parklands of Floyds Fork, is one of the largest new metropolitan parks projects in the country: almost 4000 acres of new, donor-supported public park system in the last major undeveloped section of Metro Louisville. Dan is the founder of 21st Century Parks/The Parklands and currently serves as the Board Chair, where he oversees fundraising, planning, design, construction, and operations of the new parks. He is married, with four children, and enjoys hiking, camping and fishing with his family, skiing, running, and reading.
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