An Active Life in Louisville
Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky, is home to more than just the iconic Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. It’s also a place where it’s easy to stay active, and explore the city and the surrounding Midwest. Sports leagues, college sports and a thriving outdoor community will keep even the most adventurous visitors and residents occupied for days on end.
Back to nature
There are plenty of opportunities in and around Louisville to disconnect from the hustle and bustle. The Ohio River separates the city from Ohio and a national forest is a short drive to the west.
- Endless Summer Paddle Company: Founded in 2016 this company offers a chance to explore the waters around the city on stand up paddle boards. They offer regular SUP adventures and yoga classes, too, if that’s more your speed. There is also a community paddle for people who have some basic experience with SUPS that does events like “full moon paddles, Friday floats with music, and trips down the Ohio”.
- Hoosier National Forest: This national forest is just a little over an hour to the west of Louisville. There are places for fishing, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. Highlights include Buffalo Trace, a trail formerly used by migrating buffalo that’s now a hiking trail; and the Rickenbaugh House, a stone home from 1874 that was also served as the communities post office and church at various points.
- Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest: Just a short drive to the south will bring you to thil tranquil nature get away. It includes 14,600 acres of natural forest, 32 miles of hiking trails and 16 miles of paved biking trails.
There might not be in professional sports team in Louisville, but there are still a lot of fun options for people looking to scratch that itch. The city has a thriving college sports scene and minor league teams that are great options for grabbing a hot dog and enjoying a game.
- University of Louisville Cardinals: The Cardinals are maybe most well known for their basketball teams. Both the women’s and men’s teams have done well in recent years. Their home arena, the KFC Yum! Center, holds more than 20,000 excited fans. The university also has football and baseball teams. Their football team recently set an attendance record with 55,632 coming to watch them beat Florida State University.
- Louisville Bats: The Bats play in Louisville Slugger Field, which opened in 2000 and has room for more than 13,000 fans. While watching the game you can also get a BBQ sandwich and Jack Daniel’s to enjoy America’s pastime.
- Louisville FC: This minor league soccer team has had a lot of success in Louisville. It currently shares Slugger Field with the Bats, but its ownership has plans to build a separate 10,000-seat soccer stadium just for Louisville FC. The new stadium could be open as early as 2020.
But watching all of those sporting events could inspire you to put your cleats back on and hit the field yourself. Luckily, Louisville has plenty of options in terms of adults sports leagues and infrastructure designed just for people looking to live an active life.
- Adult sports leagues: The League of Xtraordinary Coeds has a variety of leagues that adults can join from including flag football, basketball and bowling. The league also has tournaments like the upcoming 2017 Turkey Bowl flag football tournament. Sports Monster offers similar leagues in the city. The local recreation center and the YMCA also have events targeted at adults.
- The Louisville Loop: This loop is over 100 miles of paved trail that encircles the city of Louisville and can be accessed at multiple points. The trail has views of the river and is open to bike and foot traffic. There are options for bicycle rentals, too.
Out of town
If you’re up for a day trip then there are plenty of places within a short drive of Louisville that can provide an exciting experience.
- Mammoth Cave National Park: This huge cave system provides a peek into what lies below the surface. It is home to the longest cave system in the world with trails for hiking and horseback riding. There are also tours of the cave system.
- Frankfort, Ky.: The capitol of Kentucky, Frankfort, is just an hour to the east of Louisville. Visitors to the city can tour the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which includes a tasting of the bourbon. Political wonks can also visit the state capitol.
- Cincinnati, Oh.: Just under two-hours northeast, Cincinnati is perfect for a family day-trip. Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum and Eden Park for free, or check out the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. There are plenty of other awesome family activities in the area.
- Nashville, Tn.: The home of country music is a three-hour drive to the south. Once there you can don your cowboy boots and do the do-si-do at a local country bar, but you can also go to a Preds hockey game or Titans football game.