The Parklands

So Much to Do and See at Beckley Creek Park

Visiting a park for the first time can be a bit intimidating- especially one the size of Beckley Creek Park. Many of our new visitors stop in the PNC Achievement Center and ask, “What can I do at the park?”  There is so much to experience at the park that it will take a few visits to take it all in.

Hiking, biking, fishing, birding, kayaking, picnicking… Beckley Creek Park has it all.  Beckley Creek Park has numerous trails for hiking and biking. Please pay close attention to the trail signs, as some trails are for hiking only.  Be sure to take in all the sights and sounds each trail has to offer. You may see animal tracks, birds, turtles sunning themselves on the rocks or logs, and several different types of bugs hopping across the trails.

Fishing is another popular activity at the park.  William F. Miles Lakes are located at the northern entrance to the park off Shelbyville Road.  They are stocked by Kentucky Fish & Wildlife and full of various types of fish such as Large and Smallmouth Bass, Blue Gill, and Catfish.  You may also fish anywhere along Floyds Fork. A Kentucky Fishing License is required for visitors 16 years and older.

This year Green Earth Outdoors joined the park as our kayak and canoe livery service. They have a variety of boats for rent to meet your families’ needs.  Paddlers can enjoy hourly or destination trips. Green Earth Outdoors also provides a shuttle system for those with their own boats (on days they’re operating). You can check our website for accurate and up-to-date water conditions and to make reservations for paddling.

Do you want to fly a kite, play a little pick-up game of soccer or kickball, or spread out and have a picnic?  Then check out our 22-acre Egg Lawn.  This large grassy field is perfect for all the above. There is also a paved .7 mile track surrounding it for walking/running.  Are you curious as to why it’s called the Egg Lawn? Stop in the PNC Achievement Center to see an aeriel view and you’ll understand.

Beckley Creek Park has the best Playground and Sprayground in town!   It’s a popular spot for birthday parties and playdates. Our Sprayground will remain open until September 28, 2014 (for the season). The Playground and restrooms are open year round. We appreciate our park visitors being safe and helping take care of our play area. Please refrain from taking any pets other than service dogs into the playground.  Also, pulling and picking at the caulking causes our maintenance staff to have to shut down the Sprayground for repair.  Thank you in advance for respecting these requests.

Are you planning a wedding, family reunion, birthday party or company meeting?  We have several rental facilities to meet your needs.  Gheens Foundation Lodge can accommodate anywhere from 30 to over 300 guests.  We also have an outdoor picnic pavilion, classrooms in the PNC Achievement Center, and a Community Building in Pope Lick Park.  Contact Sam Stewart for more information on renting these facilities (502-584-0350).

Beckley Creek Park has an amazing education and interpretation department. Through the Outdoor Classroom we offer camps, field trips, scout programs, and many fun hands-on learning experiences for children and families.  Check out our website’s events page for a list of all program dates and times.  Also, be sure to tell your child’s teacher about us. Our field trips fill up fast!

Do you have a fury friend who loves to run and play off-leash?  Then you’ll be interested in our Bark Park, known as The Barklands.  Dogs are welcome in most areas of the park but must remain on their leash (except for in The Barklands).  Dogs may run free and play inside the gates of the Dog Park.  You can become a member of the Louisville Dog Run Association and have access to several dog parks around town, including ours.

Is your head spinning?  Can you believe all the things you can do and see at Beckley Creek Park?  And I haven’t told you about Pope Lick Park yet! Just wait until our two southern parks, Turkey Run and Broad Run, open in late 2015.  We will extend from Shelbyville Road all the way to Bardstown Road. That’s 19 miles of paved biking/walking/running and nearly 4,000 acres of land for your enjoyment. 

Now that you know what there is to do and see at the park, remember these guidelines when planning a visit:

  1. Bring food and water (no grilling in the park or vending machines)
  2. Lock your valuables out of sight in your vehicle or trunk
  3. Wear helmets and share the trails
  4. Keep dogs on leashes, under your control, and clean up their messes
  5. Keep the park beautiful by using designated trails and paths and not picking flowers or taking home fossils
  6. Throw away trash or take it with you

Thank you for helping support our park so it can be loved and enjoyed by others for years to come.  You can go a step further and become a Parklands Member for a very affordable yearly donation that helps to support annual operations of the parks, or become a valued volunteer.

Hope to see you soon!


Story by Suzy Stoffel. Suzy is an Interpretive Ranger at The Parklands.  She enjoys helping children and families increase their scientific literacy through all the great programs and classes the park has to offer.  When she’s not at the park working she’s usually here with her family hiking or biking (her son is pictured here at one of the entrys to the Black Willow Trail).  Suzy is originally from Portland, Oregon but has spent time teaching and coaching volleyball in New York and Michigan.  

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