Large Section Closed...
On 11/25/12 my daughter and I took our tandem out for a spin to break up the long drive home from Thanksgiving. We started from the Shawnee Park end, heading in toward downtown, and found that a large section of the trail through the park was closed due to the flooding damage (much) earlier in the year. We diverted onto the golf course paths (not many golfers that time of the year!) and accessed the trail again further upstream. A mountain bike could probably handle the trail in this closed section, but with a tandem it was a no-go, even with wide tires. The asphalt trail was covered by several inches of river silt, and even deeper in spots (in addition to the logs, leaves, and litter one would expect). Alas, the good folk of Louisville have a lot of work to do to bring this trail back to life. The posted detour is apparently onto city streets, and was difficult to determine or follow (why we wound up on the golf course). Hopefully someone will post an updated review when the path is reopened, as I think it would make a nice stop.
This ride has its beauty and its lesser moments. The river is always an eye catcher, and especially at certain times of the day, but there are places on this trail that one might not want to have a flat tire or be a stranded target. When we went over this trail, we encountered a lot of glass (beer bottle type glass), and we were very glad we had purchased a very high grade of tire that was less susceptible to puncture than regular tires. In the past we have ridden some high end bikes along this trail before it was finished, and racing tires are not a good idea along this trail. Even with the greatest care and slowest of speeds, it is hard to keep from getting something bad punturing your tire. We carry little brooms and try to contribute to the safe pathway that we all desire, but it really does seem to be a losing battle. That said, and knowing the city budget is what it is, we should pitch in order to keep all of our inner city trails passable and less hazardous. Our most wonderful ride was in Bethpage Park on Long Island. Don't know how they keep this thing so beautiful and well lit and swept, but it was a real wonderful experience we ought to try and mimic NYC here in Louisville.
"This is a wonderful trail along the river. As an out-of-towner, I found no signage pointing to the trail, but it’s easy to follow once you find it. To get to Shawnee or Chickasaw Parks, take exit 3 off I-264, and head west on Hale Avenue. I started at Shawnee Park. Signage on the trail shows the trail starts further south in Chickasaw Park. Find any paved trail in one of the parks heading toward the river, and you’ll (probably) easily find the trail. I found it very, very lightly used, except within a mile or so of the city center. From the Crab Shack east to Litterle Rd it’s a collection of sidewalks and paths without markings. Check out the “Flock of Finns”, 32 colorful sculptures of birds, in the park southwest of the Crab Shack."