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The Waterfront Park is relatively new feature of Louisville. Built in three phases, the final phase was completed in 2013. Today the park consists of 85 graceful acres of trees, gardens, and trails. The park makes both a quiet place for the individual to get away and a festive place for the community to come together. Concerts, festivals, and other special events are scheduled throughout the year.

  • Lincoln Statue at Waterfront Park
  • Along the Waterfront.
The Waterfront Park is urban oasis along the Ohio River. Though recently developed, the park is older-fashioned dreams and aspirations for what the park should mean. According the Waterfront Master Plan, "In broad philosophic strokes, the Master Plan seeks to pull into the 21st century the cultural waterfront heritage of the 18th and 19th centuries, to interpret and restore the ecology of the river as it was before western civilization, and to extend downtown Louisville to the river--and conversely, magnify the presence of the river and extend the river into downtown. In so doing the Waterfront can be come a vessel for public activities, with the natural systems of the Ohio River Valley generating its structure and power. Finally, it is the spirit of the people who will fill this space that adds the most necessary dynamic, that of the natural exuberance of human life."

Whether or not it has yet to fulfill the dreams stated above, with the opening of Phase I in 1999, the park has been a true service to the public. Phase I consisted of the larger, open green spaces, where big events and festivals could occur. Phase II moved into the smaller, more secluded areas, making space for family picnics and the chance to forget the city's backdrop. Phase III connects the first two phases, creates a beautiful promenade, and most importantly opened up the beautiful rails to trails "Big Four" pedestrian and bicycle bridge. This bridge received one million visitors in just its first year after opening. 

A visit to the park will be a pleasant get-away for travelers needing a break from the city. It it may also just be possible to catch that 19th century experience of the city most uniquely from the recent Waterfront Park, as it seeks to remind the world of an older era in Louisville.