Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday Evening Post: Cherokee Park

Cherokee, like Central Park, is famous in Louisville (especially the closer you get to the river) for being a cultural center--more than just a place to take the kids for a go on the swingset. Park-goers may encounter anything from a pack of dogs running up and down dog hill, owners watching patiently with a smile and a poop bag, to a pair of goths swimming in Beargrass Creek, and no matter what walk of life you are from, Cherokee Park has a way of finding a place in your heart.

This week we had the opportunity to go to the park with Ryder, Kola, our friend Morgan and her little sister Gracie. As we arrived via the Lexington Road entrance we encountered old men in tight cycling shirts "living strong" up the hill, pregnant mothers walking golden retrievers, a man riding a segway, and two grandmothers holding hands. We found a spot and let the dogs out of the car and they immediately raced away to sniff a lady who was laying in the grass reading--this would usually be a problem, but at Cherokee rules do not apply...she good-naturedly rubbed their ears and waved. As we skirted dog hill, Gracie threw one after another soaring frisbees to us and we had plenty of room to spread out to catch them (another perk of the park). Finally, we played a little ultimate frisbee and Gracie and I trounced Morgan and Molly. The dogs watched or roamed around the edges of the clearing we were in. We walked back to the car, avoiding the little brown piles all over dog hill, and went home satisfied.

Cherokee Park is located between the highlands (take Eastern Parkway with Qdoba on your right, turn left on Willow and right after the basketball court) and St. Matthews (turn right on Lexinton from Grinstead and then turn right into the park after the lake). It features a 2.something mile loop that is a wonderful run/ bike ride, Big Rock (the best cliff jump in Louisville), a very hilly golf course, plenty of fields for frisbee or napping, access to Beargrass Creek, a real dog run or dog hill, a giant picnic pavilion that smells slightly of weed, and mountain biking/ hiking trails all through the woods. Go there now!


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