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Iroquois Park, Louisville

Categories: Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 95 reviews on the web
Iroquois Park is a 739-acre municipal park in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Louisville's Cherokee Park and Shawnee Park, at what were then the edges of the city. Located south of downtown, Iroquois Park was promoted as "Louisville's Yellowstone". It is built on a large knob covered with old growth forest, and its most prominent feature are the scenic viewpoints atop the hill.The summit of Iroquois Park presents an all-at-once vista of the city of Louisville, seen from the south. A bronze plaque at the site demonstrates the plan of the city's park and parkway system as planned and executed by Olmsted's firm.The park features an amphitheater, basketball courts, 18-hole golf course, a disc golf course and a riding stable. Louisville Metro Parks and partner companies stage concerts, musicals, and other shows each summer at Iroquois Amphitheater.HistoryIroquois Park was one of the three major suburban parks created in the late 19th century in Louisville. In 1889, Mayor Charles Donald Jacob purchased Burnt Knob, a 313-acre (1.3 kmĀ²) tract of land 4 miles (6 km) south of the city, for $9,000, and was reimbursed by the city treasurer without approval from the city council or public referendum, meaning the original purchase was probably illegal. Jacob also negotiated with landowners between the city and the then-rural park to acquire the right of way for a 150-foot (46 m) wide "Grand Boulevard", today's Southern Parkway, which still leads to the park.
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  • We came from Ohio just to see this bought tickets online to save standing in lines. But after an hour of driving around in horrible traffic with no place to park and a 2 1/2 hr wait just to get in we ...  read more »
  • Traffic was horrendous and no parking! We sold our tickets and left very disappointed!!! But, we have a plan for next year---go during the week! I've heard wonderful things about this event! 
  • 5,000 jack o' lanterns is a lot. Many were very intricate and amazing. At one point the jacks were up in the trees and over our heads. It was really incredible. This year's theme was "America the Beau...  read more »
  • Tonight going to Stephen King was my first time entering the park and amphitheater. I was sorely disappointed and will not return. We came early to the show. We had to park in a field, stand in line for 45 minutes but the worst was the seats and upper mezzanine. We had to sit in the non roofed section and it started storming. Granted, no one can predict the weather but at least put some speakers under the upper mezzanine so you can at least hear what's going on. I spent $32 of my hard earned money to neither hear or see Stephen King. Like going to the Derby and never seeing a horse. We got bored just standing there and left. Out into the rain again, no book and couldn't get out of the field we were parked in because we were blocked in. All in all, the entire experience was awful and a waste of time and money. We weren't the only ones with these issues and who left early. Please put more speakers in the upper areas for those who will be back. It surely won't be me. I took off work for this? So disappointed.
  • I love this park! Used to be my home away from home as a child. Doesn't suffer from the same issues as Wyandotte as far as the riff-raff. My only complaint is that the top of the park has been let go for many years. The field I used to fly kites in as a child, which always had great wind, has been completely forsaken and is now totally overgrown with very tall grass which is home to a great many snakes. The tennis courts up there have also completely dilapidated and have now had their surrounding fence and nets completely removed, and has been converted to an ad hoc dumping ground for yard waste. The southern lookout and the hiking trail leading thereto have also been let go. The trail is entirely gone, and for many years the trees were so overgrown that one could hardly admire the view of the city. It appears however, that they are taking much needed steps to completely rebuild it, and the trees have been topped so you can once again take in the beautiful view. I recommend going up there on a sunny day when clouds are in the sky, so that when you look out upon the trees, you can really appreciate the way the sunlight plays off of their leaves, highlighting them in the bright sunlight, and dulling them in the shade of the clouds. You can watch the shadows of the clouds pass over the forest, and it is truly beautiful, and always makes me think of the great oil painter's landscapes. It is especially beautiful in the Spring and Fall, but Winter, too, offers its own unique beauty, and is a great time to hike through the woods off-trail, as you will be unhindered by the thorny vines that are so common. I also highly recommend going up there to see the sun rise. This is definitely something which your life will be incomplete without seeing for yourself. There is also another perk to going up there so early; the deer. I remember one time in particular that I was taking my morning run around 6:00 AM to the top of the park, which I always do through the woods and often off-trail, and when I got to the road by the southern lookout, I found myself surrounded by four beautiful deer, two adult females and two younger dears of varying ages, which I assume from their small and smaller statures. I'll admit I was a bit frightened in their presence, especially when one hissed loudly at me, which is not a sound I even knew they could make, but I calmly continued walking and they seemed fairly unperturbed by my presence, and eventually took off into the woods. I also saw three wild turkeys the same morning. Yes, I said turkeys, and no, I wasn't inebriated. Watching the sun set is an equal joy and will also give you an opportunity to see some deer, although it is more difficult to spot them at night. I have run into large bucks and a pack of at least a dozen deer at night there. But the basketball court up there has been better taken care of, and is well worth the trip to the top, as it is far superior to the court at the bottom. It has real rims, unlike the "prison rims"- the totally unforgiving double-rims - at the bottom, and is rarely crowded. The road to the top is open on Wednesdays and the weekends, and that is the best time to go to the courts if you are looking for some friendly competition. Other days it is usually all yours if you want to go there just to practice alone, or have a game with a group of friends. The park also offers frisbee golf, regular golf, tennis, an archery field in the back, several gazebos equipped with grills, playgrounds at the top and bottom, water fountains, nice bathrooms and an amphitheater where many great musical acts perform, ranging from famous acts like Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, to legendary bands like Neutral Milk Hotel who rarely tour. In the summer, there is always an ice cream truck or two near the playground on the weekends and often during the week in the afternoon. It is a wonderful park, and I am very proud to have it in the neighborhood I grew up in at a time when so much else in this part of town seems to be going steadily down hill.
  • Great park. If you can get up top to the overlook you are in for a treat. Gorgeous views up there.
  • Love the park! Recent. striping of Rundell Rd is very walker friendly! I'm looking forward to the Top Hill Rd. striping! Nature Blessings!
  • The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is something you don't want to miss!! What a unique event!!
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