Jefferson Memorial Forest

The Jefferson Memorial Forest is a forest located in southwest Louisville, Kentucky, in the Knobs region of Kentucky. At 6,500 acres (26 km2), it is the largest municipal urban forest in the United States.[1]

The forest was established as a tribute to Kentucky's veterans, and was designated as a National Audubon Society wildlife refuge.

Coordinates: 38°03′51″N 85°48′23″W / 38.06420°N 85.80640°W

Jefferson Memorial forest 5
The Jefferson Memorial Forest is the largest municipal urban forest in the United States.


Jcf-tuliptree trail 6-2
On the Tuliptree Trail

The forest offers over 35 miles (50 km) of various hiking trails, including several which offer views of downtown Louisville. Several discrete usage areas are featured, including the Tom Wallace Recreation Area, with the 7-acre (28,000 m2) Tom Wallace Lake; the Paul Yost Recreation Area, and the Horine Conference Center. Camping and fishing are both permitted. Tom Wallace Lake is stocked with trout and catfish once a year. Tom Wallace Recreation Area features various handicapped-accessible facilities, including a fishing dock and a 1,560-foot (480 m)-long natural trail, the Tuliptree Trail. The Horine Conference Center is a popular field trip destination for Louisville schools.

The forest property is operated as parkland by Louisville Metro Government.

A hiking trail, the Siltstone Trail, traverses much of the forest from east to west. There are several local hiking trails, in addition. Horine also features many hiking trails and both the Paul Yost and Tom Wallace Recreation Areas have horse trails. No mountain biking is permitted in the forest at this time, but the low traffic roads and hilly terrain afford road cyclists many challenging routes through the forest and surrounding areas.


Jefferson Memorial Forest-Tom Wallace Lake
Tom Wallace Lake

In 1946, Jefferson County, Kentucky, undertook to establish a working forest preserve in the southern part of the county. The Jefferson County Memorial Forest was originally envisioned to be 10,000 acres (40 km2) and was named as a memorial to the area's dead of World War II. Since then, the forest has been redesignated to remember all who served in the armed forces. The original purchases were guided by Paul Yost, who was appointed as the county forester. Through 1954, some 1,300 acres (5.3 km2) were purchased. No further properties were purchased until a single tract was acquired in 1965. The next acquisition was not until 1979, and from then until the mid-1980s, the forest was expanded to about 5,000 acres (20 km2). Since then, acquisition has proceeded again slowly.

In the late 1990s, the old ranger station, a former country schoolhouse, was renovated as a visitor and welcome center.

On May 30, 2004 parts of the park were ravaged by a tornado, which caused several trails to be temporarily closed.

Natural history

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The forest is home to numerous wild plants and animals.
Jefferson Memorial Forest-Bee Lick Creek
Bee Lick Creek

There are some fifty types of trees, including ten species of oaks, and a rich flora of wildflowers and seventeen species of ferns and fern allies. A wide variety of animals can be seen, including bobcats, coyotes, red foxes, white-tailed deer, great blue herons and horned owls.

Like many other natural areas in the eastern United States, the forest has a significant problem with invasive exotics, including tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata), Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa).

The forest is located in the Knobs region of Kentucky, also known as the Muldraugh Escarpment. This is a belt of rugged hills lying between the Bluegrass and the Pennyrile regions. The underlying geology of these hills is primarily siltstone and shale, with the siltstone creating extremely steep hillsides. The most important of these in the forest area is the Holtzclaw Siltstone, named after Holsclaw Hill.

See also


  1. ^ "New Property Connects Sections of Jefferson Memorial Forest -- Nov. 2009".

External links

City of Parks

City of Parks is a municipal project to create a continuous paved pedestrian and biking trail around the city of Louisville, Kentucky while also adding a large amount of park land. The project was announced on February 22, 2005. Current plans call for making approximately 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of the Floyds Fork floodplain in eastern Jefferson County into park space, expanding area in the Jefferson Memorial Forest, and adding riverfront land and wharfs along the Riverwalk Trail and Levee Trail. There are also plans to connect the 100-mile (160 km) Louisville trail to a planned seven mile (11 km) trail connecting the Southern Indiana cities of New Albany, Clarksville and Jeffersonville.

Cityscape of Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky is home to numerous structures that are noteworthy due to their architectural characteristics or historic associations, the most noteworthy being the Old Louisville neighborhood, the third largest historic preservation district in the United States. The city also boasts the postmodern Humana Building and an expanding Waterfront Park which has served to remove the former industrial appearance of the riverfront.

Fairdale, Louisville

Fairdale is a former census-designated place in southern Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 7,658 at the 2000 census. In 2003, the area was annexed to the city of Louisville due to a merger between the city and Jefferson County's unincorporated community. Fairdale is now a neighborhood within the city limits of Louisville. It is within the boundaries of the Fairdale Fire Protection District which serves Fairdale and surrounding areas including the large Jefferson Memorial Forest and historic South Park Country Club, the oldest country club in the state of Kentucky.

Floyds Fork

Floyds Fork is a 62-mile-long (100 km) tributary of the Salt River in Kentucky, directly south and east of Louisville. It begins in Henry County, near Smithfield Kentucky flows through eastern Jefferson County and flows into the Salt River near Shepherdsville in Bullitt County.

It runs for about 30 miles (48 km) through Jefferson County and drains approximately 122 square miles (320 km2), making it the largest watershed in the county. It is also the least environmentally compromised watershed in the county, according to the Metropolitan Sewer District, as large-scale development in the southeastern portions of Jefferson County is still relatively sparse. To preserve its rural character, much of Floyds Fork south of I-64 was zoned rural residential in 1993.The proposed City of Parks initiative by Louisville would purchase 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of land along the river and establish three to four parks, as well as hiking and other recreational trails.Floyds Fork is named for John Floyd, an early surveyor of the area. During the Civil War, Confederate and Union forces skirmished on Floyds Fork and what is now US 60 (Shelbyville Road, locally) on October 1, 1862.

Geography of Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is located at the Falls of the Ohio River.

Louisville is located at 38°13′31″N 85°44′30″W. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Louisville Metro (in 2015 measurements for Jefferson County) has a total area of 397.68 square miles (1,030.0 km2), of which 380.46 square miles (985.4 km2) is land and 17.23 square miles (44.6 km2) (4.33%) is covered by water.

Go Ape

Go Ape! is an outdoor adventure company which runs tree top ropes courses under the names Tree Top Challenge, Tree Top Adventure and Zip Trekking, as well as ground-based Forest Segway Safaris, at locations across the UK and the US.

Jefferson Memorial (disambiguation)

Jefferson Memorial is an American landmark structure in Washington, D.C.

Jefferson Memorial may also refer to:

Jefferson Memorial Forest, large urban forest in Kentucky

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the old name for what is now known as Gateway Arch National Park in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, and which includes the Gateway Arch

Jefferson Memorial (St. Louis), a 1913 building in Forest Park, St. Louis, which houses the Missouri History Museum

Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including the grave of individuals such as John D. Kelly

Jefferson Memorial Hospital, in Festus, Missouri, see List of hospitals in Missouri


Kentucky ( (listen) kən-TUK-ee), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities, Louisville and Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

Kentucky is also known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, moonshine, coal, the "My Old Kentucky Home" historic state park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area

This is a list of visitor attractions and annual events in the Louisville metropolitan area.

List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area

Following is a list of parks, forests and nature preserves in the Louisville metropolitan area.

List of urban parks by size

A list of urban parks by size includes urban parks at least 404.7 hectares (1,000 acres) or 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi) and contained entirely within a locality's municipal or metropolitan boundary.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville ( (listen) LOO-ə-vəl, (listen) LOO-ee-vil, (listen) LUUV-əl) is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th most-populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being Lexington, the state's second-largest city. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, located in the northern region of the state, on the border with Indiana.

Louisville, named for King Louis XVI of France, was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Sited beside the Falls of the Ohio, the only major obstruction to river traffic between the upper Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, the settlement first grew as a portage site. It was the founding city of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which grew into a 6,000-mile (9,700 km) system across 13 states.

Today, the city is known as the home of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the University of Louisville and its Louisville Cardinals athletic teams, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and three of Kentucky's six Fortune 500 companies, being Humana, Kindred Healthcare and Yum! Brands. Its main airport is also the site of United Parcel Service's worldwide air hub.

Since 2003, Louisville's borders have been the same as those of Jefferson County, after a city-county merger. The official name of this consolidated city-county government is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, abbreviated to Louisville Metro. Despite the merger and renaming, the term "Jefferson County" continues to be used in some contexts in reference to Louisville Metro, particularly including the incorporated cities outside the "balance" which make up Louisville proper. The city's total consolidated population as of the 2017 census estimate was 771,158. However, the balance total of 621,349 excludes other incorporated places and semiautonomous towns within the county and is the population listed in most sources and national rankings.

The Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), sometimes also referred to as Kentuckiana, includes Louisville-Jefferson County and 12 surrounding counties, seven in Kentucky and five in Southern Indiana. As of 2017, the MSA had a population of 1,293,953, ranking 45th nationally.

Muldraugh Hill

Muldraugh Hill is an escarpment in Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, and Nelson counties of central Kentucky separating the Bluegrass on the north and north-east from the Pennyrile on the south and south-west. This escarpment fades into the Pottsville Escarpment on the east, and terminates at the Ohio River in the west, although in truth it continues in Indiana as Floyds Knobs.

In parts of its eastern stretches, Muldraugh Hill is little more than a slight hill, but in some of the western areas, it is represented by extensive areas of knobs. This landform consists mostly of siltstones and shales, with some minor limestones, lying between the limestones and dolomites of the older Bluegrass and the limestones of the newer Pennyrile. Rock outcrops are minor except where the overlying limestones are exposed in the north end of Fort Knox.

The Jefferson Memorial Forest in Louisville, Kentucky and Bernheim Forest in Bullitt and Nelson Counties are both located within the knobs of Muldraugh Hill, as is part of Fort Knox.

Municipal forest

A municipal forest or municipal woodland is a forest or wood that is owned by a town or city. Such woods often have a higher density of leisure facilities like play parks, restaurants and cafes, bridleways, cycle paths and footpaths. Unlike an urban forest, which is located largely or entirely within an urban area and may be privately owned, a municipal forest is publicly owned and may well be outside the city or town to which it belongs. Most urban forests will be municipal forests, but many municipal forests are non-urban.

Nature reserve

A nature reserve (also known as natural reserve, bioreserve, natural/nature preserve, or natural/nature conserve) is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park.

Urban forest

An urban forest is a forest or a collection of trees that grow within a city, town or a suburb. In a wider sense it may include any kind of woody plant vegetation growing in and around human settlements. In a narrower sense (also called forest park) it describes areas whose ecosystems are inherited from wilderness leftovers or remnants. Care and management of urban forests is called urban forestry. Urban forests may be publicly owned municipal forests, but the latter may also be located outside of the town or city to which they belong.

Urban forests play an important role in ecology of human habitats in many ways: they filter air, water, sunlight, provide shelter to animals and recreational area for people. They moderate local climate, slowing wind and stormwater, and shading homes and businesses to conserve energy. They are critical in cooling the urban heat island effect, thus potentially reducing the number of unhealthful ozone days that plague major cities in peak summer months.

In many countries there is a growing understanding of the importance of the natural ecology in urban forests. There are numerous projects underway aimed at restoration and preservation of ecosystems, ranging from simple elimination of leaf-raking and elimination of invasive plants to full-blown reintroduction of original species and riparian ecosystems.

Some sources claim that the largest man-made urban forest in the world is located in Johannesburg in South Africa.But others claim that this could be a myth. Tijuca Forest, in Rio de Janeiro, has also been considered to be the largest one.

Valley of the Drums

The Valley of the Drums is a 23-acre (9.3 hectare) toxic waste site in northern Bullitt County, Kentucky, near Louisville, named after the waste-containing drums strewn across the area. After it had been collecting waste since the 1960s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed the property and creek in 1979, finding high levels of heavy metal, polychlorinated biphenyls, and some 140 other chemical substances. It is known as one of the primary motivations for the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or Superfund Act of 1980. While the widely publicized Love Canal disaster is often credited as the reason the Superfund law was passed, Love Canal activist Lois Gibbs has said that Love Canal looked like a suburban community, while "Valley of the Drums became the visualization of the problem." Officially, cleanup began at the site in 1983 and officially ended in 1990, though later problems have been reported and investigated.


WGHL is a commercial radio station located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, broadcasting to the Louisville, Kentucky area on 105.1 FM. The station's studios are located in downtown Louisville and the transmitter site is in Jefferson Memorial Forest on the southern edge of Louisville/Jefferson County proper.

105.1 FM signed on in 1992 as Hot AC-formatted WEHR. It flipped to Christian music as WXLN in June 1996. In February 2000, the station flipped to active rock as "LRS 105", WLRS. Those call letters were formerly found on 102.3 FM from 1964 until 1999. (For more on the history of the original WLRS, see WXMA.) On July 15, 2009, WLRS changed formats to "FM TALK" and featured the Mancow radio show in the morning.On November 1, 2012, WLRS dropped its talk format and began stunting with Christmas music, and branded as "Christmas 105.1". On Christmas Eve 2012, WLRS flipped to "Easy Rock 105.1" with a soft AC/oldies format. On January 30, 2013, WLRS changed their call letters to WESI, to go with the "Easy Rock 105.1" branding.

On October 13, 2014, WESI flipped to classic hits as The New 105.1 GHL-FM, Louisville's Greatest Hits. The call letters were changed to WGHL on October 16, 2014.

On January 30, 2015, WGHL changed their format to classic hip hop, branded as "Old School 105.1". On September 6, 2016, WGHL rebranded as "G105.1".On August 31, 2018, WGHL changed their format to alternative rock, branded as "Alt 105.1". WGHL is owned by Alpha Media.

Kentucky parks
Indiana parks

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