Spring has finally arrived, the sun is out, and you are itching to get out for a scenic hike or ride out on the trails.
PUMP THE BRAKES!
Springtime in the Ohio River Valley is known for week-long rain showers, and as we recently experienced, the occasional snow. Natural surface trails in The Parklands tend to stay muddy for most of the spring and fall, our rainiest seasons.
If you’re out on a trail, and there’s mud on your heels or wheels, please turn around! Staying off muddy trails helps to prevent ruts and permanent trail damage. It also helps to keep you safe from slipping.
Staying off natural trails after a long winter can be tough, but your cooperation will help keep them preserved and rideable for years to come.
A few tips for dealing with the rainy season:
Trails in the northern parks (Beckley Creek and Pope Lick) are older and more established, so they dry out much faster than those in the south. Also, consider exposure to sun. A shaded trail with lots of trees will take a bit longer to dry out than one that receives a lot of direct sunlight.
Remember to always be flexible. The Parklands covers nearly 4,000 acres, so while it might be sunny and dry in Beckley Creek, those dark clouds to the south could be heading to Turkey Run Park for an afternoon downpour. Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to explore a paved trail or park road if trail conditions are too mucky.
If you just can’t stand being cooped up any longer, no problem! Check out our 20+ miles of paved trails, including 19 miles of the Louisville Loop. The shaded, hilly stretches in Turkey Run and Broad Run provide a scenic, forested backdrop for those who don’t mind a challenge. The Strand—located between Pope Lick and Turkey Run—gives riders a nice, secluded escape, and with only a few small hills, this section is accessible to beginners as well.
Whether you are coming out to enjoy a hike or a bike ride, please make sure to follow park rules and show courtesy to others using the trails.
- Note the name of the park and/or trail that you are on, including the mile distances on the Loop.
- Watch the weather.
- Let a friend or family member know where you are going and when you will return.
- Do not take unnecessary valuables with you on your outing, and never leave any valuables unattended in the park or in your car.
- Pass on the left, and let other trail users know you are passing with verbal cues.
- Pay attention to the permitted trail use. Bicycles should use only designated biking trails, and when utilizing a shared path, cyclists should pass on the left and be courteous to other users.
- Make sure your speed on the trails allows you to be in control at all times.
- During hot and muggy days, avoid unnecessary exposure to heat and drink plenty of water.
- Disturbing or collecting any vegetation or natural resources within The Parklands of Floyds Fork is prohibited.
- For a full list of Park Rules and Recommendations, visit www.theparklands.org/Rules.
How you can help
By following park rules and practicing trail etiquette, you are helping to ensure a safe and fun experience for all visitors. With so much area to cover, we also look to our visitors to help be our eyes and ears. If you encounter significant trail damage, a downed tree or other issues while out exploring, please contact us at 502-584-0350.
The Parklands does not receive tax dollars to maintain our parks and trails, so we rely on donors to keep things running and FREE of charge, 365 days a year. If you enjoy hiking, running or riding the trails, we hope you’ll consider becoming a Parklands Member. Learn more about our Memberships and perks at www.theparklands.org/Member.
About the Author
As Manager of Marketing and Communications, Anna Rosales-Crone manages internal and external communications strategies for The Parklands, as well as marketing to promote facility rentals, educational programming, fundraising and overall park awareness. Anna was hired as Communications Coordinator in May of 2015 to help build awareness of the newly constructed park by managing The Parklands brand, website and social media. Prior to joining The Parklands team, she worked in communications at the American Red Cross for five years where she grew the Louisville Area Chapter’s digital and social media presence while supporting public relations, marketing and special events. She also provided public affairs support and guidance during major disaster operations. Anna is a graduate of the University of Evansville where she met her husband and the second love of her life—traveling. She also enjoys hiking, reading, baking, dancing, going to concerts and hanging out with her two cats. Contact me about: media relations, photo requests and website.