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Jefferson Memorial Forest

Take a hike! If you need a place to do it, you might try the Jefferson Memorial Forest, a wooded wonderland where you can hike, fish, and camp without ever leaving the city. Located just 15 miles from downtown Louisville, it comprises 6,191 acres of seemingly boundless beauty.

The forest, which was formally dedicated in 1948, is the largest nature preserve within Jefferson County and one of the largest municipally owned urban forests in the nation. Its name comes from its dedication as a memorial to Kentucky’s veterans.

Made up of more than 330 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, the forest is home to more than 60 species of reptiles and amphibians and is visited by nearly 130 bird species. It also has the most extensive hiking trail system in Jefferson County, with more than 35 miles of approved trail for hikers of all skill levels. In 2006, 144 acres were added to Jefferson Memorial Forest as part of the City of Parks initiative.

Jefferson Memorial Forest offers many educational and public programs and annual events, such as Forest Fest each May. This free festival is an all-day family-friendly event, with regionally known bluegrass acts performing throughout the day and a variety of woodcraft and related booths selling and displaying forest- and nature-related items.

Program 120
Louisville photographer John Nation, pampered pets, Muth’s Candies, and Jefferson Memorial Forest. (#120)