Jeffersontown is a big dog among the Louisville suburbs and the largest independent city in the metro area besides Louisville itself. Incorporated since the late 1700s, Jeffersontown has its own identity, plus quick access to creature comforts throughout the greater metro area. In Kentucky horse country, that means parks and trails galore, although you might have to share with horsey friends.
You’ll find pockets of green space all over town for a quick stretch near home. Auburn Park is a quiet green space in the Gaslight Estates neighborhood. Meanwhile, the picnic facilities and nature trail at Veterans Memorial Park on the south end of town give you more space to explore. Fisherman’s Park is 3 miles southeast of Veterans Park, just over the county line; take a break from all your worries with a quiet walk with your BFF around stocked Mirror Lakes on the park’s loop road.
If your pup doesn’t mind some hustle and bustle, explore Jeffersontown’s Historic Gaslight District along Taylorsville Road. The district boundaries are marked by two steel trusses at College Drive and Ruckriegel Parkway, and a new town square is still being developed to encourage pedestrian visitors.
If you run into trouble, never fear: two veterinary practices are located in the middle of Jeffersontown, and 24-hour emergency care is available in Louisville. Though there are no pet supply stores in town, five are within a 10-minute drive.
Just north of downtown, Skyview Park has athletic facilities and an awesome splash pad in summer. The walking trails that connect the ballfields and veer off into the woods give your pup plenty of room to roam. Even better, though, Skyview connects to the longest completed segment of Jeffersontown’s Gaslight Recreational Trail System. When finished, the system will connect the parks, sidewalks, and shopping areas throughout the community so you can leave the wheels at home and run your errands on paw. For now, the trail loops through Skyview Park, crosses over Chenoweth Run Creek, and extends east past Tregaron Avenue, and work has already begun on new segments to the north and south. At trail’s end, you can continue your walk up Tregaron on the sidewalks in this charming mid-century neighborhood of ranch homes.
Just south of the town limits, Charlie Vettiner Park is Jeffersontown’s premier doggy destination and nearest dog park. With a gazebo, benches, and separate fenced areas for big and little pups, Vettiner Dog Park is a comfortable place to drop the leash and let your hair (or fur) down. Membership in the Louisville Dog Run Association and proof of vaccination are required; you can apply and pay the small membership fee at any Feeders Pet Supply store. Vettiner Park has almost 300 acres to explore on-leash, too. Sniff out some fun at the athletic facilities, challenge your doggo to a game of disc golf, or just take a stroll on the walking path. In winter, check out the sledding hill and find out if your pack has a knack for mushing. The affluent subdivisions that surround the park can extend your walk on well-kept sidewalks.
In the neighborhood of Hopewell, just east of Jeffersontown, you'll find some furrific hiking. The southern half of massive Pope Lick Park is a leafy nature preserve at Big Beech Woods, while the northern half of the park is devoted to athletic facilities and grassy lawns. A 1.6-mile nature trail runs through Big Beech, and the paved Fitness Trail and gravel Prairie Preserve Trail give you lots of exercise options. The park is also home to a stretch of the Louisville Loop, a network of 48 miles of trail that will eventually extend over 100 miles and completely encircle the city. A 6-mile section heads south from the park and connects to Turkey Run Park. Be sure to use the restroom and fill your water bottles before leaving Pope Lick, as there are no facilities available until you reach Turkey Run. A shorter Louisville Loop section heads north to Beckley Creek.
Only 7 miles from Jeffersontown, Beckley Creek Park is a veritable puppy paradise located just north of the Fisherville neighborhood along the Floyd's Fork River. First stop is Barklands, Beckley Creek’s off-leash dog park. Membership in the Louisville Dog Run Association is required to use the park, but your membership for Vettiner Dog Park gets you entrance at Beckley and several other Louisville dog parks as well. Barklands offers three one-acre fenced runs, plus water and waste stations. The entrance is marked by four yellow fire hydrants at the north end of the 22 acre Egg Lawn — which is also a great spot for a snooze in the sunshine or a quick game of fetch. A paved path circles the lawn, just one of 10 hiking paths available in Bleckley Creek including a 4-mile stretch of the Louisville Loop.
Just 8 miles north of Jeffersontown, EP Tom Sawyer State Park in the Whipps Millgate neighborhood of Louisville is a pawfect place to spend the afternoon. At 539 acres, Tom Sawyer gives you space to stretch your legs. The fenced off-leash dog run in the northeastern corner will really get your pups begging for more. The park’s two trails — the 1-mile Fitness Trail and 1.25-mile Goose Creek Trail — are both located in the southwestern section. Still have energy to burn? The small but pretty Hounz Lane Park is located along Goose Creek due west of Tom Sawyer. Due east is the Anchorage Trail, an easy and scenic 2.1-mile loop. Or, just hit the streets! The affluent subdivisions that surround Tom Sawyer State Park are all extremely walkable with sidewalks leading past manicured yards and impressive homes.