Olmsted Parks Conservancy offers FREE walking tours in July, exploring Iroquois Park’s 131-year history.
Olmsted Parks Conservancy is offering free walking tours of Iroquois Park throughout the month of July. Described in its early days as Louisville’s “Yellowstone,” attendees will explore Iroquois Park’s lush landscape fascinating 131-year history in a series of three tours led by Certified Tour Guide and Olmsted Parks Conservancy Park Steward Denise Davis.
On each tour, Davis, who previously gave tours of Central Park in New York, will take guests on a 90-minute journey through the park on paved walkways and natural trails, discussing everything from the illegal purchase of the “Burnt Knob” by Mayor Jacob, to the role the park played in segregation and re-integration of the park system, and finally enjoy park’s unparalleled view of the city from the North Overlook that has inspired artists for over a century.
Tours are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 – 11 AM and are always free to the public. The tour series is included in this year’s cultural pass. Walk ups are welcome, but early registration through Eventbrite is encouraged. Tour descriptions and schedule can be found below.
Iroqouis Park: Jacob’s Folly
- Offered Wednesday, 7/3 & Saturday, 7/6 | 9:30 AM
- Meeting Location: Southern Scenic Overlook
- On this tour, guests will learn about Mayor Jacob’s original (and illegal) purchase of “Burnt Knob” for the city, Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision and design for Louisville’s own “Yellowstone,” and the geological reality that has always affected the experience of our wondrous park. We will begin at the Southern Scenic Overlook, explore the southern part of the loop atop the knob, with a brief venture into Summit Field.
- Offered Wednesday, 7/10 & Saturday, 7/13 | 9:30 AM
- Meeting location: Play-All Playground (near Amphitheater)
- Constructed in the 19th century, Iroquois Park experienced many changes as Louisville and its people entered and progressed through the 20th century. It is here that the incident which unfortunately led to our parks being officially segregated for over thirty years took place. It’s also here that, decades later, the first all-accessible playground was built in our city. Come hear about and see the physical and social changes present in this beautiful park’s history.
- Offered Wednesday, 7/17 & Saturday, 7/20 | 9:30 AM
- Meeting Location: Northern Overlook
- On this tour, enter a landscape that has inspired artists. Explore areas around the recently renovated Northern Overlook, discuss the powerful draw of nature and its effects on us and the environment, and learn what it takes to restore, enhance and forever protect such magnificence in our midst.
About Olmsted Parks Conservancy
Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Inc., a non-profit organization, was established in 1989 to restore, enhance and forever protect the Olmsted Parks and Parkways. In 2019, Olmsted Parks Conservancy celebrates 30 years of connecting nature and neighborhood. Working as a non-profit partner with Louisville Parks and Recreation, the Conservancy provides planning and funding for park improvements through donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. For more information visit olmstedparks.org