Enjoy Scenic Loop in Cherokee Park car-free from 8 AM – 2 PM on the last Sunday of each month

Cherokee Park’s Scenic Loop and its various entry points will be closed to vehicle traffic from 8 AM – 2 PM on the last Sunday of the month, starting this Sunday (11/24).

Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Louisville Parks and Recreation will be closing the Scenic Loop in Cherokee Park to vehicle traffic one Sunday a month between 8 AM – 2 PM so park visitors can walk, run, and bike through the park car-free.

“Frederick Law Olmsted designed Cherokee Park in 1891 as way for people to escape from the city,” says Layla George, President and CEO of Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “Cars driving around Scenic Loop bring more of the city into our parks. By closing the Scenic Loop to vehicle traffic for a few hours on one Sunday a month, we’re giving the 1.6 million visitors a more relaxing and worry-free experience in Cherokee Park.”

Olmsted Parks Conservancy has met with local neighborhood groups around Cherokee Park to evaluate their feelings on any impact closing the Scenic Loop may have. Cherokee Park’s Scenic Loop closes its entrances to vehicle traffic a few times a year for athletic and community events, like Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s Hayride on the Hill and the Urban Bourbon Mini-Marathon. 

The decision was made after a successful 2nd-annual Hayride on the Hill where over 3,000 park visitors gathered to celebrate the fall season, take guided hayrides around the park, and simply enjoy the park without cars. Several attendees expressed support for closing the loop on a more frequent basis, commenting on how refreshing it was to walk around the park without worrying about vehicle traffic. It also allowed pedestrians and cyclists, who typically share one mixed-use lane, to spread out into multiple lanes around the loop.

“Experimenting with monthly car-free Sundays on the Scenic Loop is a simple and inexpensive way to encourage greater use of Cherokee Park, physical exercise and the use of non-motorized transportation, so I hope and expect it will be a success.” Said Councilman Brandon Coan, whose District includes Cherokee Park.

The Scenic Loop will be car-free on the last Sunday of the month from 8 AM – 2 PM for the rest of 2019, continuing into 2020 (except for the month of April, where Scenic Loop will remain open to accommodate traffic from the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair). The inaugural Scenic Loop Car-Free Sunday will be this Sunday, 11/24.

“Our parks are great resources for cyclists, joggers and walkers. A car-free Scenic Loop is an added bonus,” said Dana Kasler, Director of Louisville Parks and Recreation. “We’re hoping to see a good crowd on Sunday enjoying the expanded access.”

Cherokee Golf Course will remain open during this time and golfers can continue to access to the clubhouse through Alexander Road.

Fred Facts
The 1974 tornado destroyed eighty percent of Cherokee Park’s hardwood trees and galvanized new support for restoring the parks.

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