We hiked the Paw Paw Trail on a cool, sunny Saturday morning, with perfect weather conditions. From there, things just got better. We love this trail best of all the trails in the Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville’s world-class urban park system, and here are a few reasons why.
End-to-end trails frustrate us, but in Turkey Run Park, five trails intersect each other, making it easy to create endless loops of varying distances. These trails are:
- Paw Paw Trail
- Wild Hyacinth Trail
- Chinkapin Trail
- Hickory Trail
- Louisville Loop
Click the links to read the Trail Guides for each of trails listed above (and share the favorite loops you make in the comments below).
We parked at the Sky Meadow parking lot and began at the western terminus of the Paw Paw Trail, passing through a stand of scrubby cedars as we made our way through some big hardwood trees. The trail is shared between hikers and bikers, so be careful, especially if you like to wear headphones while you hike.
While the forest canopy looked wintry with bare limbs, the ground told of the warmer weather to come with budding bushes and ground cover exploding in an electric green, dotted with the bright colors of the blooming flowers, which greeted us from our first steps. I stopped to take pictures of nearly all of them. Red-winged black birds interrupted the quiet of the morning with their distinctive singing, though we only saw one or two.
We passed the first junction with the Chinkapin Trail and headed down to Turkey Run, where the Wild Hyacinth Trail connects to the Paw Paw via an unofficial short connecting trail. On the other side of the creek, the trail climbs to the second junction with the Chinkapin, as well as the Hickory Trail at the same spot. In each case, we stuck with the Paw Paw Trail and removed jackets and sweaters as the day warmed.
As we approached the Silo Center, the trail dipped into another creek valley before climbing and then paralleling the Louisville Loop a bit before finally ending at the loop at 2.3 miles. We turned right at the Louisville Loop and took it back to Sky Meadow, making our total trip 4.78 miles.
We love the stream crossings, as well as the old farm ponds we passed on the way back, as we reached Sky Meadow. I’ve fallen in love with the big beech trees and sycamores of the Parklands, and they are abundant on this trail. Finally the wildflowers captivated me with their many colored blooms – you’ll see nearly a dozen different species on our video guide.
We recommend the Paw Paw Trail to anyone interested in the quiet beauty of walking in the woods, especially in the Spring. We hope you’ll see it for yourself and tell us about it in the comments below.
Watch Our Video Trail Guide
Getting there – from the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265)
- From the Gene Snyder Freeway, take exit 19 for Billtown Road and head east.
- Stay on Billtown Road for 0.8 miles, until you reach a “T” intersection
- Turn left on Seatonville Road and drive 1.5 miles until you reach Turkey Run Park
- Turn right into Turkey Run Park
- Drive past Seaton Valley Trail and the flat bottom land and climb the hill to the Sky Meadow parking lot and pull in here