Department of Parks
Take a Trip into the Past with Hikes at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is sponsoring two hikes in November that will offer participants a view into the past of this unique area.
On Thursday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. the “Painting a Picture of the Past” hikes will reveal some of the remains of the park’s historic past hidden amid its wooded terrain.
The hikes will begin with the first Europeans to settle this area in the 1780s, shortly after Louisville was established in 1778. Isaac Hite and his family claimed over 1,000 acres, including part of the park, and remained on the land until the 1860s, when it was sold to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The fourth hospital for the mentally ill was constructed in the 1870s and remained within Central State Hospital’s possession until 1986, when the patients were moved to their new facility.
Join park staff as they explore and expound on the last 200 years of the land now known as E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The hikes are free to the public. Please wear appropriate clothes for the weather. Meet at the Picnic Grove across from the archery range. For more information, contact Jessica Evans at 502-429-3280.
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 of 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 (Interstate 265) to Exit 32. Go west on Westport Road to Freys Hill Road. Take Freys Hill Road into the park.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov.