Turkey Run Park Opening Weekend Features Stargazing, Tree Planting and Guided Hikes
21 Century Parks, Inc. celebrated the opening of Turkey Run Park on Friday, October 16, 2015. Turkey Run Park is the third park to open in the expansive 19-mile long Parklands of Floyds Fork. At nearly 800 acres, Turkey Run is one of the largest new urban parks to open in the United States in 2015. Turkey Run Park represents a new type of urban park for the Louisville region, using architectural design to blend the landscape—meadows, forests, and fields—with a trail system, park roadway and event spaces. This design aesthetic represents the core value of 21st Century Parks – bringing nature into neighborhoods.
Turkey Run Park is accessible by the Billtown Road exit off I-265 in eastern Jefferson County. Its 800 acres run between Seatonville Road and Broad Run Road.
Louisville Loop – 3.7 miles of the popular paved pathway will take visitors through the park from the Seaton Valley entrance (at Seatonville Road) to Broad Run Road. The route takes visitors along Floyds Fork, up and over Sky Meadow, and into the largest forest block in the park before cresting at the Brown-Forman Silo Center. Users will cross several unique pedestrian bridges along the route.
Turkey Run Trail System – the heart of Turkey Run is found in its trail system. Progressive by design, Turkey Run offers more than seven miles of trails ranging from all-accessible, paved surfaces perfect for wheelchairs, baby strollers, and young bike riders, all the way up to intermediate hike/bike trails that will provide a workout for the more adventurous outdoor explorers. Key trailheads are found at Seaton Valley, Boulder Pond, Ben Stout House and Silo Center.
13 total new trail miles include:
o 3.7 miles of the paved Louisville Loop for hiking, biking, running, etc.
o 6.3 miles of additional hike/bike trails – soft surface ranging from easy to intermediate
o 3 miles of new soft trails for hiking only
TRAIL NOTE: The Paw Paw and Chinkapin Hike/Bike Trails are now open to hikers and bikers! The Wild Hyacinth Trail is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.
Paddling Access – The Seaton Valley Paddling Access at the north end of Turkey Run Park allows Floyds Fork paddlers an additional take-out, extending The Parklands total water trail mileage to 13 miles along Floyds Fork from Beckley Creek Park to Turkey Run Park. This water trail will again be extended in the spring with the opening of Broad Run Park.
Turkey Run Parkway – this 2.7-mile scenic parkway through Turkey Run connects the park’s key attractions such as trailheads, the Ben Stout House, and the Brown-Forman Silo Center. The roadway will allow visitors to get a feeling for the different habitats and landscapes found in the park.
Sky Meadow and Sky Dome – one of the highest spots in The Parklands, this glade meadow takes visitors to locations with 360-degree views of the surrounding forests and Floyds Fork valley. Boulder Pond, Duck Pond, and Sky Dome offer locations where park visitors can stop and enjoy the outdoor views and quiet moments that make Turkey Run so different from other urban parks. Areas of Sky Dome remain under construction, so the community is asked to adhere to posted signs while exploring Turkey Run. Boulder Pond features a fully accessible fishing platform and will be seasonally stocked with trout by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Ben Stout House and Boone Bottoms – the oldest structure in The Parklands, the Ben Stout House dates from the 1820s and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This limestone home was inhabited for over 150 years. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, The Parklands saved the house from decay and did a full external restoration that returned the home to its 1800 era appearance. It will serve as a weekend interpretive ranger station for The Parklands. Open hours will be posted at www.TheParklands.org.
Brown-Forman Silo Center – a former dairy farm, this is the outdoor event center for The Parklands. The site features original barns reimagined for public use and events including the Hockensmith Barn (capacity 275), the “Pignic” Barn (capacity 60), the Farmer’s Table (capacity 40), and the Silo Overlook that transports visitors over 60 feet above the park in a repurposed silo with spiral staircase and overlook deck. The area also features a 1-acre lawn.
Opening Weekend Events
Stargazing at Turkey Run Park – Join The Parklands and the Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS) for an evening of stargazing from 8-11:30 PM on the Silo Center Lawn, 8703 Stout Road, Louisville, KY 40291. Members of LAS will be available to answer questions. This event is free and open to the public; no registration required. Visitors should bring flashlights, lawn chairs and blankets.
Turkey Run Tree Planting – Members of the community are invited to make a positive impact in the newly opened areas by planting trees and helping to clean up Boone Bottomlands from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. Volunteers will meet at Ben Stout House, 8630 Stout Road, Louisville, KY 40291. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided. RSVP Here
Turkey Run Park Guided Hikes
Seaton Valley Trail Guided Hike – Join an interpretive ranger for this easy 1-mile hike through Seaton Valley at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 17. Discover the cultural and natural history of Turkey Run Park while strolling along this shady, forest trail with beautiful views of Floyds Fork. The group will meet at 9 a.m. at Seaton Valley Trailhead, 13708 Seatonville Road, Louisville, KY 40291.
Sky Meadows Guided Hike – Join an interpretive ranger for this paved and fully accessible 1.3-mile hike through Sky Meadows at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 17. Marvel at the breathtaking views from the park’s highest natural point, Sky Dome, and learn more about the plants and animals that call this forest home. The group will meet at 11 a.m. at Boulder Pond parking lot. To reach Boulder Pond, enter Turkey Run Park at the Seatonville Road entrance, continuing on the park road past the stone wall to the top of the hill where you will find the Boulder Pond parking lot on your left.
Boone Bottoms Guided Hike – Join an interpretive ranger to explore untouched gravel bars along Floyds Fork on this moderate 1.2-mile hike through Squire Boone Bottoms at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. Hunt for fossils and freshwater mussels while learning more about the aquatic ecology of Floyds Fork. The group will meet at 12 p.m. at the Ben Stout House, 8630 Stout Road, Louisville, KY 40291.
Paw Paw Guided Hike – Join an interpretive ranger to tromp through a serene 600-acre tract of forest on the 2.3-mile Paw Paw Trail at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. Moderate to strenuous elevation gains will boost your heart rate as we “read the landscape,” unraveling the stories of the forest and its historic uses. The group will meet at 3 p.m. at Brown-Forman Silo Center, 8703 Stout Road, Louisville, KY 40291.
Guided hikes of Turkey Run Park are free and open to the public, but space is limited. Members of the community can register at www.theparklands.org/events.
Additional drop-in guided hikes will be offered on Sunday, October 18 at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. All will meet at the Ben Stout House, 8630 Stout Road, Louisville, KY 40291.
Turkey Run Park is open from dawn to dusk daily and as with all of The Parklands, there is no fee to enter this donor-supported public park.
The Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville’s newest park system, is roughly 4,000 acres comprised of four parks:
- Beckley Creek Park opened in phases from 2011 until completion in 2013 and open to the public
- Pope Lick Park completed in 2013 and open to the public
- Turkey Run Park opening Friday, October 16, 2015
- Broad Run Park currently under construction, expected completion spring 2016
With the opening of Turkey Run Park, The Parklands will be approximately 75% open, currently operating and programming the first three of four parks in Eastern Jefferson County.
Last year, The Parklands recorded more than 1.2 million visits. Park officials expect to exceed that visitation in 2015 based. The Parklands of Floyds Fork is a donor-supported public park system that does not receive tax support for annual operations. The Parklands is the largest fully-funded, non-profit operated, parks project currently under construction in the U.S.
21st Century Parks is responsible for fundraising, land acquisition, construction, and long-term operations of the new park system. Community members may contribute to the annual fund by becoming a Parklands Member. Learn more at www.theparklands.org/Member.