*The Natural Areas Division, supported by Wilderness Louisville, has management responsibility for certain areas within the southern part of this regional park.
Work is currently underway to restore the habitat in the southern portion of the park, and to remove non-native and other invasive species.
The Natural Areas Division is responsible for the woodlands area, a portion of this larger park. Work is also planned to improve trail access within the park, according to the existing master plan for the park.
The rest of McNeely Lake Park offers boating, fishing and other recreational activities for anyone seeking to spend time outdoors.
Riding a trail in transition
McNeely’s horseback riding trail system is currently in transition. With the closure of the McNeely stables concession some years ago, the trail system—which was not well-designed or managed to the highest standards—needs more attention. However, McNeely’s trail system does offer a unique experience as it winds through various habitats, ranging from dense underbrush and pioneer forest, to open glades. The trails are not currently well-marked, however.
The Natural Areas Division is now managing McNeely’s trail system, and as capacity allows, it will be redeveloped and improved, consistent with trail standards that exist in other natural areas and in accordance with the McNeely Lake Park Master Plan.
If you can trailer your horse and are looking for trails to ride, we suggest the Paul Yost Section of Jefferson Memorial Forest as a better choice.
McNeely’s hiking trail system is available and open for hiking, however, the same caveats listed above apply. But on foot, you get a grand opportunity to take in more of the scenery. In the early morning, you can enjoy the smells of nature and see dew twinkle on the ground. As you pass through areas of cedar and hardwood forests, you can cross intermittent streams and pop out into open glade areas.