Meg Young

Keeping it Cool in The Parklands

Summer is a great time to get out and have some fun in the sun, but the Kentucky heat can get the best of you if you’re not careful. When you come out to The Parklands, no matter what you’re doing, make sure to bring your water bottle and refill it at our water fountains to stay hydrated. Take a break in the shade and know when to rest. Thankfully, on the days where you do everything right and it’s STILL just too hot, there’s plenty of places around The Parklands to splash around and cool down. Whether you prefer natural bodies of water or something a little more contrived, The Parklands has something to keep you cool in the summer heat.

One of the best ways to beat the heat is to combine your hike with some water fun. The Parklands boasts numerous trails that run alongside the scenic Floyds Fork. These trails offer the perfect opportunity to take a break and wade into the cool, refreshing stream. Dip your feet in, splash around, and let the gentle flow of the water rejuvenate you before continuing on your hike. It’s a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature while staying cool. Each of our parks boasts at least one trail crossing over or meandering along the bank of Floyds Fork! If you prefer Beckley Creek Park, our Valley of the Giants and Black Willow trails are just a couple of examples. You can see more on our park pages! Pope Lick’s Prairie Preserve Trail crosses over the stream along the Louisville Loop allowing for a cool break through the sunny meadows. Heading south, Turkey Run Park offers several trails that criss-cross over small tributaries running off Floyds Fork, but depending on the weather, they may be dry until the next rain. However, the Seaton Valley Trail and Boone Bottoms Trail both flow along with the stream, allowing plenty of opportunities to step off the trail and let the water splash over your feet and legs. If Broad Run Park is your go-to park, the Riparian Ramble is the perfect place to explore nature and enjoy the cooling effects of Floyds Fork. No matter which park you choose, the Fork offers a plethora of chances to keep the heat at bay by wading into the water.

If you prefer nature’s lazy river over your local water park’s, The Parklands has over 20 miles of water trails you can float down in your canoe or kayak! Paddling down these serene trails, perfect for both the beginner and the experienced paddler, are just the thing for you if you’d rather be on the water than in it. The gentle current and shaded banks make for a relaxing and refreshing journey. Bring your own equipment, and don’t forget your life jacket and sunscreen. Spending a day on the water is a wonderful way to connect with nature and stay cool under the summer sun. Plus, if you can always take a dip if you change your mind! With paddling accesses spread across all 4 parks, you can choose where you put in and take out your boat, changing your scenery and your float time as often as you want! Check out all your options on our website.

We know that the forest and streams aren’t for everyone, though! If you prefer something more man-made, The Parklands features two fantastic spraygrounds. These splash pads are perfect for kids and adults alike who want to have fun and cool off in a more formal environment. With water jets, sprays, and fountains galore, the splash pads offer endless entertainment and a refreshing and giggle-filled break from the heat. The playground and spraygrounds in Beckley Creek Park and Broad Run Park are a great way for the kids to run off that extra energy and play while keeping those heat-induced cries a distant memory.

No matter how you prefer to take a quick dip and wash the heat away, you have every option you could imagine at The Parklands. Come check it out this summer and decide your favorite way to enjoy nature without getting bogged down by the sun! Don’t forget your water bottle, sunscreen, and sunglasses. We’ll see you out there!