Department of Parks
Learn About E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park on History Hike Jan. 24
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The fascinating history of the area now known as E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park will be explored when park personnel lead a group hike through park lands in northeastern Jefferson County on Saturday Jan. 24, 2009.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased land now part of the park from the Hite family in the 1860s. In the 1870s, the fourth hospital for the mentally ill was constructed, and the buildings remained within the possession of Central State Hospital until 1986. In that year, the patients were moved to a new facility adjacent to the current park boundary.
Park staff will lead hikers as they explore the structural remains of the hospital and discuss how mental health has changed through time. The hike begins at 10 a.m. Saturday Jan. 24 at Shelter 3 off of Lakeland Road and costs $2 per person. Please wear appropriate clothes for the weather. For more information on the Central State Hospital History Hike, contact Jessica Evans at 502-429-7270.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a 570-acre day use park located in northeastern Jefferson County just off the Gene Snyder Freeway. The park was once a farm worked by the former, much larger Central State Hospital. Many remnants, such as barns and cemeteries, still remain on park property. Governor Louie B. Nunn dedicated the park in the fall of 1971. By May 1975, the park recreation building and pool were officially opened. E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park has hiking and fitness trails, an outdoor pool, indoor gym, lacrosse and soccer fields, softball fields, archery range, and BMX track.
To visit E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, take the Gene Snyder Freeway (Interstate 265) to Exit 32. Go west on Westport Road about one mile to Freys Hill Road. Turn left on Freys Hill Road and follow signs into the park entrance on the right.