*The Natural Areas Division conducts Louisville ECHO Programming in Shawnee Park, supported by Wilderness Louisville, Inc.
This Metro park is one of three major destination flagship parks within Louisville Metro’s famed system of parks and parkways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the . Shawnee Park is supported by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and is not managed by the Natural Area Division, but is, however, under the purview of other divisions in Metro Parks’ divisions.
Wilderness Louisville is the primary fundraising partner supporting Natural Areas’ Louisville ECHO programming and the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative.
A new nature-related outdoor infrastructure is planned for the northern portion of the park to support the expansion of Louisville ECHO. It includes the Shawnee Park boat ramp, a new bicycle pump track, and a planned hiking trail in the former Fontaine Ferry area. This facility will be located in the northern portion of the park, in close proximity to the Louisville Loop.
West Louisville is the home of the first boat ramp in the city in decades. This launching point of small water craft is now open to pleasure craft and canoe/kayaks on the lower pool of the Ohio River, below the McAlpine Locks and Dam. You can travel upstream to just below the Falls of Ohio or downstream toward Riverview Park, Riverside: the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, and to West Point, Kentucky. While you are on the water, drop a fishing line or enjoy the relatively unspoiled surroundings.
In 2018, participants in Louisville ECHO’s job training component built a short, 400-foot-long bicycle pump. This pump track offers an introduction to mountain biking for young people who live in the area. Pump tracks allow you to use your own momentum to travel the course, which consists of a series of rollers and banked turns. If you are new to the off-road cycling scene, ride your bike to Shawnee park and give it a try. Check out Louisville ECHO’s calendar to find the date of the next Introduction to Biking Program.
Now that the Shawnee Boat Ramp is open, anglers have formal access to the banks of the majestic Ohio River. While the access is not perfect and anglers must carefully cross the rocky slopes along side the boat ramp, the new ramp has opened up the shoreline for those those who want to test their skill with river fishing.