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:
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.
Land Steward Project Days – 9:00 am
Saturday, October 3
Wednesdays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
Help preserve the natural ecosystem within the Natural Areas park system. Activities may include clipping invasive plants, weeding native gardens, mulching, or brush removal. Closed-toe shoes required. Activities are suitable for ages 14 and up, with parental supervision required until age 18. Location varies. Please contact our Volunteer Office for information.
3rd Annual Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures
Shawnee Park, Friday, October 3 or Riverview Park, Saturday, October 4
This free event is designed for individuals and families who are new to canoeing to experience the water in safe and stable voyageur canoes which hold 10 to 15 people. All safety equipment and trained staff are provided. The event is open to anyone ages 3 and older. Wear comfortable outdoor clothing that can get wet; no flip flops please.
Learn From History, Public Program
October 11th, 1pm – 4pm
Participants will explore various forms of pre-historic and historic ignition sources, search for adequate fuel and understand how fire was utilized for everyday needs. Come ready to learn from frustration, fire-making is not easy!
The focus of Learn from History events is to experience various aspects of the lives of the first indigenous people of Kentucky. Through active involvement participants will build, plant, make, and cook using actual materials and processes. Participants must come ready to learn not only from success, but also from failure. Due to the hands-on nature of this program minimum age is 10, and each event is limited to 16 participants max. Fee $15/ person. Pre-registration is required through the Jefferson Memorial Forest Welcome Center at 502-368-5404. Program meets in the Horine Section of Jefferson Memorial Forest.
Trail Team Project Day at the Forest – Saturday, October 11, 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.
Mayor’s Fall Hike & Outdoor Adventure
Saturday, October 18
10 AM to 2:00 PM
Join Mayor Greg Fischer for a family-friendly fall exploration of Jefferson Memorial Forest. The event is held near the Forest’s Environmental Education Center and offers a wide variety of activities showcasing all the Forest has to offer. Forest staff and volunteers introduce visitors to our native plant gardens and animal exhibits. Activities for children are provided in the Nature Explore area. Climb the 52-ft Alpine Tower or take advantage of a canoeing demonstration on Mitchell Hill Lake. Free pumpkins and pumpkin decorating, hay rides and Shack in the Back BBQ will provide breakfast and lunch items available for purchase. A portion of food sales go to benefit the Forest. Meets at the Horine Reservation. Event is FREE.
To view the entire Forest calendar, click here.