With its scenic farmland and rolling hills, Shelby County is one of the prettiest locales in north central Kentucky. If you’re so inclined, it’s a great place to go and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll, a brisk walk, or go jogging, there are several good options from which to choose.
Clear Creek Park
Headquartered at 717 Burks Branch Road, Shelby County Park offers paths and trails for walking and jogging. A paved path borders the grounds where you’ll find the Family Activity Center, playground, soccer and baseball fields, golf course, and their outdoor pool. This path offers a variety of flat walking areas, as well as curves and inclines. If the inclines aren’t your thing, just double back and traverse the level surfaces instead. Either way, you’ll burn calories and enjoy the scenery along the way.
You’ll find the natural trails around the corner and down the road from the Family Activity Center. Scenery abounds here as well, as they offer views of wooded and clear areas, as well as a local favorite, Lake Shelby. If you like to walk or run with your canine friend, leashed pets are welcome on these paths and trails. There’s ample free parking at the park, and it’s just a short drive from central Shelbyville, Interstate 64, and other local routes. Visit their website or stop into the Family Activity Center for more info.
The Greenway Trail
The Greenway Trail offers paved, level paths for easy walking or jogging. These hidden gems border Clear Creek and provide a beautiful backdrop of woods and shade, the creek, as well as open fields and greenery for you to enjoy. Both have off street free parking, and are just blocks away from downtown Shelbyville.
Phase One of the Trail, found at 97 7th Street, extends about three-fourths of a mile (one way) from the trailhead to its end near Washington Street. Phase Two is found just north on 7th Street on the opposite side of the road near the cemetery. A few things to note: after heavy rain, the paved paths may be muddy from runoff, so be mindful of recent weather conditions before you head out. These trails are somewhat secluded too, so you may want to check them out with a family member or friend.
Red Orchard Park’s trails offer another good location to walk, hike, or simply enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Located on 131 beautiful acres, the park boasts native Kentucky trees, plants, and wildlife. If you’re interested in a brisker walk, the classic Kentucky rolling hills found there may offer the challenge you’re looking for. Those looking for an easier walk will find areas to suit as well. Located at 704 Kentucky Street, it’s just outside of the downtown Shelbyville area. You’ll find free parking onsite as well as recreational areas for family outdoor activities.
Shelby Trails Park
Shelby Trails Park is another Shelby County treasure, located in Simpsonville at 5063 Aiken Road. Boasting over 400 acres and 21 miles of trails, the park offers lovely views of rolling hills, creeks, and more. It has something for every walker/hiker, from easy to challenging trails.
Don’t be surprised if you see local equestrians there, as Shelby Trails Park offers guided horseback rides, lessons, and day passes for horse owners to explore the trails as well. Not far from downtown Simpsonville, Shelbyville, Interstate 64, and other local routes, the park is testimony to the beautiful Kentucky landscape.
If you enjoy more of a city vibe, Shelbyville’s downtown district is a great place to walk. Washington and Main Streets (also known as Route 60) run parallel to each other, and offer neat sidewalks on which to take a brisk walk or casual stroll. Take in the local sights, from interesting and historic architecture in the homes along the way, to shops, restaurants, and other businesses within the downtown stretch. Don’t forget to check out some of the side streets, which crisscross the area and offer great local flavor too.
If you’re planning on a brisk walk or jog through town, you might consider going before 11 am or in the early evening to avoid shoppers and other pedestrians that might impede your dedicated exercise efforts. Downtown offers free on-street parking, as well as a free parking lot near 7th Street next to the Historical Museum.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these spots offer good outdoor exercise options for individuals, groups, or families. Why not check one out soon?
Image one - Pexels, Noelle Otto
Image two - Shelby County Parks
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