Review of Jefferson Memorial Forest By: Jeanette

With the cooler morning, the kids and I decide to hop over to Jefferson Memorial Forest to see what that is all about. The forest is a living memorial to all the Kentucky vets who have served during war time. It encompasses almost 6200 acres making it the largest municipal urban forest in the nation.

It is just about 5min off the Gene Snyder and 20 min from downtown Louisville – so it is practically in your backyard.

We started at the Welcome Center which looked like a big white house. Here we found helpful staff that answered all our questions, a gift store, trail maps and descriptions among other things. I picked up a scavenger hunt to do with my toddler while we were exploring the forest as well. The trails vary from easy to strenuous and as short as 0.13miles up to 6.7miles (one-way). A few of the hiking trails can accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, bikes, or horses.

We hiked the Memorial Trail and Tuliptree trail which is a part of the Tom Wallace Recreation Area. These were very doable with a stroller. We were able to mark things such as squirrel, ant, rabbit, duck, butterfly, and pinecones off our scavenger hunt list. I look forward to returning with my husband and both kids in backpacks to explore more of the trails there.

Taking the road straight across from the Welcome Center takes into Tom Wallace R.A. Here you will find a fishing lake and a playground with some trails. You can buy a fishing license and live bait from the Welcome Center before heading over if needed. The playground was nice and surrounded by the forest. There were a few picnic tables as well. There were no baby swings and only port-o-pots as bathrooms. So I would recommend bringing some extra toilet paper just in case.

Besides providing hiking trails, Jefferson Memorial Forest has programs for all ages and variety ranging from Family Explorer Program, Canoeing skills, and even Howl at the Moon events where you bring your dogs. These programs all require pre-registration so check out the events calendar (and our blog calendar) if you and your family are looking for something fun outdoors.

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