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Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Thurman Hutchins Park

Always on the lookout for new and different parks in Louisville, we were happy to stumble upon Thurman Hutchins Park on River Road, just east of Zorn Avenue. The park is right across the road from Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park (and the boat launch area) but it has a completely different feel.

Our first impression was of beautiful, wide open space, well cultivated, with walking paths winding through the landscape. Our kids quickly located the playground area and we were happily surprised to find more than ordinary play structures. While there are two typical structures, one for younger tots and a larger one, kids can also enjoy climbing rings, “stumps” to jump on, and a boardwalk between the slightly separated play areas. A row of swings is also nearby.  I especially enjoyed the secluded area and “natural” feel to this part of the park. A sprinkling of young trees provided enough shade for the benches and picnic tables where parents can sit. It’s also large enough with plenty of seating to be a great place for a “mommy meet-up” and a picnic lunch.

Nearby we saw a number of sports fields, including facilities like public restrooms, which appeared to be closed for the season. As we walked back across the park, runners, dog-walkers and nature lovers criss-crossed the .9 mile path that circles the park. In the center we stopped by the large pond, complete with cattails, dragon flies and jumping frogs! A dock with a secure safety rail juts out into the water so that visitors can get up close and personal with pond life. We met people fishing, both from the dock and from the bank, reeling in small catfish and blue gills. Our kids never wanted to leave this area, and in fact, we had to plan a fishing expedition the following week so they could try it for themselves. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy new adventures with young kids.

The park also offers a wetland trail, which we’ll probably try hiking on our next visit. At the far end of the park with its own entrance, the Patriot’s Peace Memorial is a moving tribute to local fallen patriots, and is also worth a visit. To learn about the development of the memorial, visit the website.


Thurman Hutchins Park is a great destination for anyone looking for a nature escape close to the city. Its proximity to the riverfront and downtown make it a convenient stop for fun family outings.

By guest contributor
Lynn

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