Louisville is a fabulous city for dog owners. Indeed, recent statistics suggest the highest concentration of dog owners in the nation is in the East South Central region. With so many dogs in Kentucky, you’d better believe there are plenty of pooch-approved amenities in the Derby City.
If you’re planning on traveling to Louisville with your furry friend, then you’d better check out this article. Below, we’ll take a peek at some of Louisville’s best dog-friendly parks. We’ll also share a few important links you could use to ensure you and your four-legged friends have a grand time in Louisville.
The Famous Olmsted’s Parks
When you talk about parks in Louisville, you can’t help but mention Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 – 1903). Although Olmsted is best known for designing NYC’s Central Park, he also played a major role in designing Louisville’s park system in the 1860s. Olmsted’s most famous accomplishments in Louisville include the Cherokee and Iroquois Parks, both of which are 100 percent dog-friendly. Let’s go through each of these parks in more detail.
Located at 740 Cochran Hill Road, Cherokee Park is beloved for its relaxing hills, meadows, and 2.4-mile scenic loop. There’s also a 2-acre area here called the Cochran Hill Dog Run where dogs can run wild. At this run you’ll find two areas: one for smaller pups and one for larger dogs. Please note, you do need to purchase a permit from the Louisville Dog Run Association (LDRA) to gain access to Cochran Hill Dog Run. Official operating hours for Cherokee Park are between 6AM – 11PM. To find out more info on Cherokee Park, please visit this official website.
Unlike Cherokee Park, there’s no dedicated doggie area in the 739-acre Iroquois Park. You can, however, bring a leashed animal for a walk through this park. You’ll find plenty of pleasant walking trails with wonderful views as well as golf and amphitheater facilities. Once you get here, you’ll understand why Iroquois is sometimes called “Louisville’s Yellowstone.” Park hours are from 6AM – 11PM. The Iroquois Park’s webpage can be found on this link. You’ll find this park at 2120 Rundill Road.
Other Popular Parks In Louisville
Morton Avenue Dog Park
Probably the most popular park with dog lovers in Louisville is Morton Avenue Dog Park at 1500-1518 Morton Avenue. What’s the main reason this park is so popular? Answer: free admission. Currently, Morton Avenue Dog Park is the only off-leash park in the city that doesn’t require LDRA membership. The local community works hard to keep Morton Avenue Dog Park clean year-round for dogs of all ages and sizes. You can find out more info about the Morton Avenue Dog Park on this Facebook page.
Vettiner Dog Run
The 283-acre Charlie Vettiner Park also has an off-leash dog area called (appropriately) the Vettiner Dog Run. This park is considered by locals to be one of the greenest in the city. In addition to the off-leash dog area, you’ll find many gazebos here where you could catch a break from the summer sun. You will need a permit from the LDRA to access Vettiner Dog Run. Here’s a helpful website that explains everything you need to know about Vettiner Dog Run.
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park
Another wonderful park to bring your dog is the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park at 3000 Freys Hill Road. In this park, you’ll find a 6-acre space where you can let your dog have fun without his/her leash on. Like Cherokee Park, there are two areas in this park: one for small dogs and one for large dogs. There is an LDRA fee to access the off-leash area, but you can bring a leashed dog on the park’s trails for free. Click on this URL for more details on the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
Additional Info For Dog Lovers In Louisville
As you could see, getting an LDRA permit is a big deal if you want to access most of Louisville’s dog runs. Here’s a link to the LDRA online portal so you can figure out what plan works best for you and your pooch. A few other online resources dog owners in Louisville should check out include understanding dog bite liability, this article of dog-friendly restaurants and this webpage showing all dog-friendly hotels in the city. With all of this information, you should have no issues satisfying your dog in Derby City!