Summertime brings the outdoor fun time, well…until it’s too hot. High temperatures combined with increased humidity can make soaking up the benefits the outdoors can offer somewhat uncomfortable, and sweaty.
The good news is it only takes 20 minutes in nature to have you feeling those positive perks. Then if you add a short walk which keeps joints flexible, and a run around the playground with your grandkids, which keeps connection thriving, you’ve got a delightfully healthy day ahead of you. But we know it’s steamy out in the summer sun, so here are some easy walks and cool playgrounds to help you make the most of your time outside.
1. The Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve trails and playground is located in Goshen approximately 20 to 30 minutes north of Louisville. Choose from 9 miles of trails with many easy-to-navigate walks, such as Mahan Land and Frog’s Leap Trail. Stroll by open meadows and through picturesque forests and be sure to look out for deer, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.
The Forest Friends Playground at Creasey Mahan sports covered slides, ladders that lead to cabin-like hideaways, and a large round swing (to name a few playthings)—all surrounded by trees. What more do you need for an epic playground adventure? The website says they’ve added more fun equipment for all ages and sizes and they worked with Miracle of KY & TN which specializes in kid-safe, creative, handicapped-accessible playground equipment.
2. The Parklands is one of the largest donor-and-visitor-supported public park systems in the country, and The Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden Trail is an easy trail with a hard surface where you’ll see dogwood and redbud trees, stone bridges, and lovely artistic benches. Enjoy a stroll and have a break on a bench to have a rest, a read, or take in the nature around you. A favorite for families to explore together, this path has lovely views and is .6 miles one way.
There are two playgrounds at The Parklands, The Marshall Playground in Beckley Creek Park and the Cliffside Center Playground in Broad Run Park. The Cliffside Center Playground has twisty-turny rock-climbing walls, fun obstacle courses, and, oh, wait for it…a sprayground so your grandkids (and you) can cool off on hotter summer days. The Marshall Playground in Beckley Creek is a smaller playground but still offers similar play equipment, along with slides and, of course, a sprayground.
3. Iroquois Park: is a 739-acre park with an easy 3.2-mile hiking loop. The Iroquois Park Loop will take you a little over an hour to walk, so if it’s a hot day remember to pace yourself—and bring water. While walking you’ll see lovely tree-covered hillsides and tulip trees that are believed to be the largest in the Louisville park system.
The playground at Iroquois Park is a favorite because toddlers love the smaller slides and oversized teeter-totter while big kids can still explore their strength and coordination on obstacle courses and climbing frames.
By Tonilyn Hornung
P.S. Check out this popular activity to enjoy with your grandkids this summer as well.