Rules and Safety Tips

Rules and Safety Tips


  • Please obey posted speed limits and watch carefully for all park users, especially children, pedestrians, bicyclists and in-line skaters.
  • Keep your vehicle on designated, paved surfaces.
  • Don’t block walking paths or trails with your vehicle.
  • Please remember that bicyclists have equal rights and responsibilities on all roads. They are legally required to use roadways.


  • Parents, please supervise your children on park playgrounds.
  • Playgrounds are checked regularly, but damage can happen between inspections. Report any damage, chipped paint or hazardous equipment to MetroCall at 311 or 502/574-5000.
  • Children should not wear clothing with hoods or exposed drawstrings while playing on equipment.
  • Three (3) Louisville Metro Parks - Cherokee, Shawnee and Iroquois - currently have a voluntary smoke-free policy around playgrounds and spraygrounds. This policy will expand to other parks in the future.  Learn more.

Bicycling & Skating

  • Wear properly fitted safety equipment that is appropriate to your sport, including helmets and pads. A helmet, worn correctly, can reduce the risk of serious head injury by as much as 88 percent!
  • These activities are more hazardous at night. If you must be out at night, stay in lighted areas and wear reflective clothing.
  • Bicyclists – when on park roads, obey all traffic laws. "Take the lane" when necessary for your safety, but allow automobiles to pass at other times.


  • Sledding is permitted only on designated hills when the "Sledding Hill Open" sign is displayed.
  • Only use devices designed for sledding.
  • Dress in layers, so you can remove one layer without risking frostbite. Several thin layers are warmer than one bulky layer.
  • Make sure you have good visibility during your descent – don’t face backwards, and make sure hats and scarves don’t obscure your vision.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before sledding – it impairs your ability to use good judgment and causes your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Don’t stand too close to fire barrels; they are hot and can catch clothing on fire.
  • Make sure you’re with someone who knows your name and can contact your family in an emergency.

Trail Use

  • Plan ahead and know trail lengths so you can finish using the trail before dark.
  • Staying on marked trails minimizes the chance that you’ll get lost, prevents soil erosion, and protects undergrowth.
  • Bring water and snacks, if necessary.
  • If possible, carry a cell phone for emergencies.
  • On multi-use trails, remember that slower traffic has the right-of-way, downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic, and you should stay as far to the right side of the trail as is comfortable.

Living Things

  • Know your surroundings and be observant. Use a continual sweeping glance when visiting unfamiliar areas.
  • Wear an effective insect repellant, especially near dawn or dusk. The best repellants contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). For adults, use 30% DEET; for children, use 10% or less.
  • If you’re stung, pull out the stinger, being careful not to squeeze the poison sac, and apply ice. If your reaction to the bite is severe, seek medical assistance.
  • Check for ticks after time outdoors. If you find one, gently pull it out with tweezers, being sure to get the head. It is wise to then follow-up with your doctor.
  • Avoid likely snake habitats, such as brush piles, debris mounds, logjams and root systems. Keep your hands and feet where you can see them at all times. If you see a snake, leave it alone and slowly back away.
  • Learn to identify and avoid poison ivy and other poisonous plants.


  • Read and obey the posted closing hours for parks.
  • For your safety, stay in groups when using parks, especially around dawn or dusk, or keep to high-traffic, well-lighted areas.
  • Keep children under your supervision.
  • Learn basic first-aid techniques.
  • Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, with special attention to face, nose, ears and shoulders. Apply 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Wear sunglasses with UV protection, and use a lip balm with sunscreen. Remember, you can experience sunburn even on a cloudy day!

Be a Friend of the Parks

  • Please drive and park only in designated areas, keeping all the wheels on the pavement. Off-road driving is prohibited.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any park.
  • Please obey existing laws by keeping your pet on a leash and picking up waste.
  • Swimming is only allowed in swimming pools during designated times.
  • Fishing is limited to licensed patrons. Gas-powered boats are not allowed; trolling motors only in approved areas.
  • The operation of metal detectors is prohibited.
  • Parks are sanctuaries. No hunting, trapping, or removal of natural resources - such as rocks, plants and flowers -- is allowed.
  • Please take your trash with you or deposit it in trash receptacles.
  • Charcoal cooking grills are available for your use in some parks; you may provide your own. Please properly extinguish charcoal and fire. Do not place hot coals in trash receptacles.
  • Horse are permitted only on designated trails.
  • Vending, advertising or commercial photography requires a permit from Metro Parks; promotion of tobacco and alcohol products is prohibited.
  • To reserve a picnic shelter or other park facility for a special occasion; call Metro Parks at 502/368-5865 or e-mail
  • Report graffiti and maintenance concerns to MetroCall at 311 or 502/574-5000.
  • If you see criminal activity in progress, call Metro Police at 502/574-7111 (urban) or 502/574-2111 (suburban).

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