Jefferson Memorial Forest


Thousands of acres of beautiful woodland right in the River City.
Located just 15 miles south of downtown Louisville, Jefferson Memorial Forest gives you the opportunity to experience nature at its most spectacular – without leaving the city. Picnic underneath a towering oak tree. Grab a backpack and hit the trails. Or pitch a tent and take in the symphony of crickets and frogs. Whether you want to be adventurous, be inspired, or just be, the Forest offers all sorts of wonderful woodland possibilities. That’s the beauty of the Forest – it’s your adventure, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing.

Yours to discover.
Jefferson Memorial Forest is a woodland tribute to area veterans and a treasure to all who visit. Designated as an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, the forest has approximately 6,400 acres of steep slopes covered with mature, second growth hardwood trees.

The Forest, which spans nearly 10 miles from east to west is ribboned with scenic trails and small streams. It also has a fishing lake, outdoor recreational facilities, a conference center and a Welcome Center with trail maps, hiking supplies, nature related books and souvenirs, and more.

Welcome Center Hours of Operation

Monday –Saturday: 8:30 am. – 4:30 pm*
Sunday and Holidays: 10 am- 3 pm
Phone: (502) 368-5404

Want to work for Jefferson Memorial Forest?
Check out our Seasonal Job Opportunities.

 This Month at The Forest:

Free Guided Hike – Saturday, August 23, 8:00 am*
Coral Ridge and Holsclaw Hill Ridge Loops, 7.4 miles (easy to moderate)
Enjoy a summer hike in the company of Volunteer Naturalists.  Meet in the Paul Yost Recreation area parking lot. *Time changed to 8:00 am to avoid afternoon heat for the summer hikes.

Land Steward Project Days – 9:00 am
Saturday, September 6
Wednesdays, September 3, 10, 17 and 24
Help preserve the natural ecosystem within the Natural Areas park system.  Activities may include clipping invasive plants, weeding native gardens, mulching, or brush removal.  Closed-toe shoes required.  Activities are suitable for ages 14 and up, with parental supervision required until age 18.  Location varies.  Please contact our Volunteer Office for information.

Learn From History Public Program
What’s the Big Deal with the Stone-Age? 
September 6, 1pm - 4pm
Chop, cut, and scape.  What stones were used, where are they found and how were they made into effective tools in our region?  Participants will also view a private collection of artifacts on loan from the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology of the University of Kentucky.
The focus of Learn from History events is to experience various aspects of the lives of the first indigenous people of Kentucky.  Through active involvement participants will build, plant, make, and cook using actual materials and processes.  Participants must come ready to learn not only from success, but also from failure.  Due to the hands-on nature of this program minimum age is 10, and each event is limited to 16 participants max.  Fee $15/ person.  Pre-registration is required through the Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center at 502-368-5404.  Program meets in the Horine Section of Jefferson Memorial Forest.

Outdoor Skills – Orienteering I
Saturday, September 13, 9 am -12 pm
Map and landscape reading are skills every outdoor person needs to possess. This program equips participants with the skills necessary to read and interpret topographic maps and locate destinations. This in-field set of exercises is truly a hands-on learning experience. Ages 12 and up. Program meets in the Horine Reservation. Fee $10 Per Person/ Per Class- Pre-Registration is required Minimum number of participants-5  Max-15


To view the entire Forest calendar, click here.

Donate to Metro Parks!
To view the Natural Areas wish list, click here. To make a monetary donation to Parks, click here.