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:

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

Trail Team Project Day at the Forest
Saturday, September 13, 9:00 am
Trail volunteers perform vital services to maintain the safety of our wonderful trail system.  Activities vary but may include using hand tools to address erosion issues, clip overhanging limbs or encroaching shrubs, or trail structure repair.  Closed-toe shoes are required.  Activities are suitable for ages 14 and up, with parental supervision required until age 18.  Meet at the Welcome Center.

Trail Team Park Project Day at Waverly Park
Saturday, September 20, 9:00 am
Trail Team and KYMBA volunteers come together to improve and maintain the combined hiking and biking trails at Waverly.  Activities vary, but may include use of hand tools to cut overhanging limbs and encroaching shrubs, trail structure repair or addressing erosion issues.  Closed-toe shoes are required.  Activities are suitable for ages 14 and up, with parental supervision required until age 18.  Meet at the playground parking lot in Waverly Park.

Family Canoe Day at Tom Wallace Lake
Saturday, September 20, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Get yourself geared-up for a family treat and special day of fun! Take a canoe out on the lake, and spend time on the shore learning about the incredible creatures that live below.  Are you ready to start paddling but not sure of where to start? Join us to discover the basics of canoeing. Spend some time on the lake practicing your skills. Don't worry if you are new to canoeing – all equipment (canoe, paddles, and personal flotation devices) is provided. This program is suitable for beginning paddlers (ages 5 and to adult.)
FEE: Activities Free; $10.00 canoe rental

Free Guided Hike
Saturday, September 27, 8:00 am*
Orange Trail, 2.0 miles (moderate to strenuous)
Familiarize yourself with the Orange Trail in the company of our Volunteer Naturalists, including a brief tour of our education area with descriptions of the program opportunities available from our education staff.  Meet in the Horine Reservation parking lot.  Be sure to return next month to explore again – this time in the dark!  *Time changed to 8:00 am to avoid afternoon heat for the summer hikes.

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.