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A comprehensive guide to Lexington’s extraordinary parks

We’re highlighting the 21 best parks that Lexington, KY has to offer — complete with splash pads, playgrounds, walking trails, and even a few dog-friendly spots.

Two people walking through a floral and tree-lined path.

Take a hike at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. | Photo courtesy of Lexington Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents

Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, Lexington features 100+ parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy.

Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of the Horse Capital of the World’s best:

Nature parks

Hisle Farm Park, 3601 Briar Hill Rd.
Hikers and horses find this ~280-acre park a haven away from city life, with a shared-use trail system featuring 1 and 2.5-mile trail options. Be sure to test your hand-eye coordination on the 10-lane target archery range.

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, 5886 Jacks Creek Pike
If you’re a nature lover, then head out to the city’s 734-acre nature sanctuary featuring 10 miles of trails passing through meadows, woodlands, and streams. It’s also a great spot for wildlife and wildflower viewing.

McConnell Springs Park, 416 Rebmann Ln.
This 26-acre hidden gem is known as a woodland wonder in the middle of an industrial area. Visitors can enjoy three water systems, a large number of native plants, and learn more about the natural and cultural history of the area at the Education Center.

Arboretum, 500 Alumni Dr.
Recognized as Kentucky’s official botanical garden, The Arboretum features 100 acres of native and horticultural plant collections, a two-mile walking path, and the family-favorite Kentucky Children’s Garden.

Sunrise at Masterson Station Park

Take a deep breath + soak in sunrise at Masterson Station Park. | Photo by Lauren Magee

Family parks

Masterson Station, 3051 Leestown Rd.
At nearly 660 acres, this park has it all — equestrian facilities, paved walking paths, a massive dog park, an amphitheater, spray ground + so much more. Plus, it’s home to some of our favorite events including Kite Fest.

Castlewood Park, 201 Castlewood Dr.
Spanning over 32 acres in the Northside of town near Greyline Station, families have access to inclusive playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, a covered picnic area, and a sprayground. When you’re done with the outdoors, check out the latest exhibits at The Loudoun House.

Charles Young Park, 540 E. Third St.
This open green space in the East End features a paved multi-use ball court, a colorful playground area, and is home to the interactive water feature, Splash!

Shillito Park, 300 W. Reynolds Rd.
A popular spot for little league games, this sprawling 176-acre park features two paved trails for walking with the fam (leashed dogs included), a disc golf course, and every sports field you could ask for. The large wooden playground — which was updated in 2019 — has been a community staple for 30+ years.

Veterans Park, 650 Southpoint Dr.
This 235+ acre space features all the typical park amenities like ball fields, paved trails, and picnic areas. It’s also home to a unique 3.5-mile mountain bike trail that welcomes joggers, walkers, and leashed dogs. Community members are greeted by a tank and memorial, honoring those who have served.

A dog running happily through Wellington Dog Park.

A dog running happily through Wellington Dog Park. | Photo courtesy of Lexington Parks & Recreation

Amy Wallot/LFUCG/Amy Wallot

Dog parks

Wellington Park, 565 Wellington Way
Nestled in between Harrodsburg and Nicholasville Roads, dog owners will love seeing their fur babies run and play with friends on seven acres of space. There are mature shade trees and a water fountain available to cool off.

Jacobson Park, 4001 Athens-Boonesboro Rd.
While this park is also a huge sports haven for humans, four-legged family members can get in on the fun with eight acres of space to run. There are two separate paddocks with shaded areas, water fountains to cool off, and benches for relaxing.

Coldstream Park, 1850 Piscano Dr.
This park near the Legacy Trail features 12 acres divided into two paddocks for large and small pups. There’s plenty of space to roam free or benches for you to sit back and play a good ol’ game of fetch with Fido.

A group of people playing pickleball with a sunset.

Pickleball Courts at Kirklevington Park. | Photo courtesy of Lexington Parks & Recreation

Sports parks

Kirklevington Park, 396 Redding Rd.
Volleyball pickleball, softball — you name it, Kirklevington’s got it. There’s also space for skateboarding, inclusive playground equipment, picnic tables, restrooms, and a paved walking path.

Woodland Park, 601 E. High St.
This park has it all. With inclusive playground equipment, a skateboarding area, an outdoor pool, tennis courts + more, there’s truly something for everyone. Be sure to check out the annual summertime staple, Woodland Art Fair.

Ecton Park, 956 Turkey Foot Rd.
Ecton Park features tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, and a great picnic area. Looking up to jazz up your tennis lessons? Enjoy the free Big Band & Jazz concert series with a picnic or listen on while serving up some aces.

Coolavin Park, 550 W. Sixth St.
Bike polo, anyone? This ~20-acre park features expansive green space, ball fields, and basketball courts. Plus, head over to neighboring businesses County Club, West Sixth Brewing, or Smithtown Seafood for some post-park libations and bites.

Cardinal Run Park South, 2000 Parker’s Mill Rd.
This green suburban park features a playground as well as youth softball and baseball facilities. Its walking paths connect to the Beaumont walking trail, which expands into the Beaumont Preserve and Harrods Hill Park neighborhoods. Stay tuned for Cardinal Run North to open in 2024.

Six bronze statues surrounded by fall trees.

Take a stroll to see the bronze horses at Thoroughbred Park. | Photo by Brett Hait, courtesy of VisitLEX

Urban oases

Thoroughbred Park, 121 Midland Ave.
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, this three-acre green space is the perfect respite. Grab a coffee from nearby A Cup of Common Wealth + take stroll to see the bronze horse statues and plaques.

Northeastern Park, 140 Eastern Ave.
Take your inner-city outdoor activities to new heights with this small, but mighty adventure park. From rock walls to a ropes course, the whole family can let their inner explorer shine.

Gratz Park, 250 W. Third St.
Situated in a picturesque + walkable historic neighborhood, this open green space is perfect for a picnic lunch to break up your day.

Duncan Park, 530 N. Limestone
One of the more historic parks in town, this green hidden gem features a hard basketball, seating, a playground and walking path.

Your park grab bag

Picked your perfect park? Make the most out of your experience with our favorite items for a relaxing day outside:

  • Is there anything quite like sitting in the shade and enjoying a good book? Check out our guide to books by local authors to help choose your next great read.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite is a lightweight e-reader option that stands up to bright sunlight.
  • A good water bottle keeps you hydrated — we’re big fans of the best-selling Owala FreeSip + this insulated stackable tumbler from Asheville NC-based retailer Pirani.
  • Heading to the park with kids? Check out the Owala FreeSip for kids.
  • Don’t forget the travel-size bug spray and sunscreen.
  • These sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack are available at discount prices + have a style for everyone.
  • Keep it all together in a handy tote bag — these adorable tote bags are all crafted by small businesses and local makers.

Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.

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