141 Inn Road
Carrollton, KY 41008
Phone: (502) 732-6661
Fax: (502) 662-0307
Often claimed to be the "birthplace of American paleontology", Big Bone Lick State Park was established on site of an ancient salt lick, which probably lured many animals. Perhaps best known for the wide range of fossils it incorporates, it is home to a 1000-pound (453.5 kilograms) mastodon skull, which occupies a place of honor among all of its displays. Apart from that, the Discovery Trail that's included in the park displays diorama and recreations of many prehistoric animals such as the bison, ground sloth, woolly mammoth and lots more. Apart from the many trails it offers, the Big Bone Lick State Park also includes a campground which finds many takers during pleasant weathers.
This animal center is located northeast of Louisville in the town of Prospect, about 25 minutes from downtown. The center primarily features farm animals and a few exotic mammals like zebras, camels, llamas and emus. Henry allows guests to feed them vegetables and admission to the park is free, but donations are happily accepted. And though the center allows guests to feed animals different foodstuffs, just don't bring anything they're not supposed to eat (like bread or starchy foods), otherwise Henry will send you the vet's bill.
While visiting Indiana in winters, if you are on the lookout for snow sports, then head over to Perfect North Slopes. The establishment of this ski resort can be attributed to the Perfect Family, after whom the slopes are named. Since opening in 1980, Perfect North Slopes have been offering visitors various trails for skiing; however, around 20 years later, in 2002, permits for snowboarding on their slopes have been granted.
This 18-hole public golf course is a par 72 and it's located in the suburb of Jeffersontown, about a 30 minute ride outside of downtown Louisville. It's location inside the larger Charlie Vettiner Park only adds charm as sand bunkers are interspersed alongside beautiful greens and a creek that meanders through the fairways. It's somewhat challenging, but that depends on your skill level, and it's definitely not for beginners.
Louisville Champions Park is among the many parks run by the Metro Park. Nestled by the river banks, it is between Louisville Waterfront Park, Louisville Water Tower Park and Thurman Hutchins Park. Spread across 222 acres (89.84 hectares), it has many athletic fields, a cyclocross course, cross-country course, a fenced dog park, walking paths, a playground, restrooms and concession stands. It is also home to the Louder Than Life festival. It also hosts league matches regularly.
Though it's located within mere blocks of Kentucky's largest city, Cherokee Park remains a bastion of rugged tranquility. With miles of trails, a range of interesting topography, and room for every sport or outdoor activity, this park offers a look at the Kentucky backwoods without venturing too far. It contains a golf course and there are facilities for almost every type of outdoorsman. Whether you are an archer, basketball player, jogger, fisherman, grill master, mountain biker, birder, swimmer or plain ol' dog walker, it's perfect.
Eva Bandman Park sits at the entrance of Beargrass Creek, where the mighty Ohio River invades bluegrass country. The park is primarily known as a cyclocross racing venue and in fact, it's considered one of the premier spots for this sport in the entire U.S. For those unfamiliar with cyclocross, it is similar to old school BMX racing, except the bikes are larger, more advanced and there are more treacherous obstacles like mud berms, wooded hills, grass, rocky terrain, etc. If you have a bike with you while in Louisville (as well as health insurance), come try your skills at Eva Bandman.
The Beargrass Creek Greenway is an urban nature trail that meanders alongside Breslin Park and the Cave Hill Cemetery. The trail runs from Breslin Park for about a mile into Cherokee Park and along the way, visitors can catch a glimpse of water fowl, fish and other fauna. It's a nice excursion away from the hustle-and-bustle of the city, especially if you have a bike.
This water park is located in Clarksville, Indiana but since you can cross the Kentucky-Indiana border so easily, it almost seems as if you never left Louisville. It's not a traditional water park in the sense where you'll see massive contraptions, but there is a wave riding pool, wading pool and four water slides from the top of Mount Olympus. The kids will love it and the prices to enter are extremely affordable. Overall, it's a great place to spend a summer day, of course it is only open during the season.
Louisville Extreme Park is one of the best skateparks in the state of Kentucky. Kids from all around town come here to show off their skills at this expertly designed concrete course. While many skate parks feature a half pipe, this one features a full pipe, so don't forget your helmet! Other features include bowls, banks, ledges, rails, and a vert ramp.
Louisville's Waterfront Development Commission manages this massive park that runs from Beargrass Creek to the underpass of the Clark Memorial Bridge. It's always filled with runners, bikers, dog walkers and anyone else who seeks the sunshine and beauty of the Ohio River. In addition to tons of open riverfront space, the park hosts more than a 100 different events throughout the year. From beach volleyball to weddings, there is always something going on.
This scenic riverwalk located beside the Ohio River starts in the east at Beargrass Creek and it runs all the way through downtown into the neighborhood of Portland. It's a popular attraction for tourists as well as locals, and you can easily tell with all the people enjoying the sights and sounds when the weather allows. The Clark Memorial Bridge also spans the river which allows you to traverse into Indiana and back in just a day.