Fall hiking spots around Louisville

A great fall activity to do during COVID-19

Mya Cummins, Staffer

Being all cooped up during NTI can be difficult and sometimes really frustrating. It’s not a surprise to hear that the mental health of many students has been dramatically affected by our newfound daily schedules. As a student who has had to endure this change of learning, I find myself falling into unmotivated funks and it can be extremely difficult to pull myself out of them. One solution that I have found works nine times out of ten is going on a hike.

I’m sure you remember being told at some point in your life-most likely many times in elementary school P.E-that fresh air is important. I can’t stress how true this is, not only for your physical health but your mental health as well. Harvard Health Publishing found that something as simple as an outdoor activity, such as hiking, can raise your vitamin D levels, improve concentration and overall make you happier. 

So, given how beautiful the change of seasons is and the fact that it’s mental health awareness month, here are some of the best fall hikes around Louisville.

Beargrass Creek Pathway (Waterfront Botanical Gardens)

Location: 1435 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

In case you didn’t pick up on the name, this recommendation is not a traditional ‘trail’ but is actually just a pathway. While you may not feel completely submerged in nature due to the pathed cement sidewalk  under your feet, it’s still a beautiful walk. I entered the pathway through the botanical gardens, where there’s parking.  The botanical gardens can only be described as tranquil and is a great addition to your hike. The pathway is open from the time the main gate opens until one hour before closing with free admission. You can find visiting hours and further information here.

Locust Grove

Location: 561 Blankenbaker Ln, Louisville, KY 40207

Locust Grove is the 55-acre historical estate of William Croghan from the late 1700s, persevered for people to tour.  The estate showcases the original Georgian mansion, outbuildings and gardens with multiple trails to walk that have the prettiest flowers. Behind the gardens, there’s a huge field, which by itself is a view. Surrounding the field there are many different hikes, which can be overwhelming at first, but Locust Grove does have an information center where you can learn more about the property and find the trail that best suites you. The property is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m. and there is a small admission fee. Buy tickets and learn more about Locust Grove here. 

Big Rock Park 

Location:  2199 Park Boundary Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

The title is a little broad, just because there are so many trails at Big Rock park, let alone Cherokee park. I specifically picked Big Rock because it runs along Beargrass Creek and has many great spots to stop, rest and have a picnic. Every time I walk these trails I see people hanging up hammocks or having lunch. One downside to these trails is that it’s typically crowed, being situated between both Cherokee and Seneca parks. Big Rock is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with free admission.