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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review of Jefferson Memorial Forest in Fairdale, KY

 photo 20140928_123521_resized_zps80edf256.jpgDid you know the largest municipal owned park in the nation is right here in Kentucky? Jefferson Memorial Forest is over 6,000 acres owned by the city of Louisville. The forest was established as a tribute to Kentucky's veterans, and if you look closely, the symbol is a half leaf, half star to reflect it's history and purpose.

There are several things to do at Jefferson Memorial Forest. There are many trails to wander from wheelchair accessible trails to trails for hiking, running, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are picnic shelters, a lake, a conference center, and camp sites. There is also a Welcome Center and gift shop where you can use flushable toilets, buy a snack or souvenir, or play in the kids area out back. They also have summer camp, scout programs, and frequent educational programs.

 photo 20140928_123539_resized_zps62e88961.jpg photo 20140927_155151_resized_1_zpsaecaaac3.jpgWe decided to go camping with some friends over the weekend. We rented a group site rather than each renting a family site, which was cheaper and more fun to share our groceries, firepit, and we had plenty of room for our tents. Most of the campsites are close to the road through the park, but still private. They all have firepits and picnic tables, and access to a water pump and vault toilets (aka glorified portajohns). There are no flushing toilets or showers at the campsites, so one overnight camping trip was enough for me. We enjoyed hiking the trails, playing in the woods at the campsite, cooking over an open fire, and sleeping under the stars. If you don't enjoy roughing it overnight, they have lots of programs, day hikes, a playground, lake for fishing, as well as the children's learning area behind the Welcome Center.

Jefferson Memorial Forest is a great place to visit or camp overnight that's not far away. It felt far removed from the city of Louisville, but it's only 15 minutess south of downtown. It's definitely a great place to check out with many options from spending an hour to spending days there enjoying nature. I'm looking forward to going back.

By guest contributor: Caryn

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