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The Legacy Trail runs north-south through Lexington among green spaces, neighborhoods and parks. Two highlights of the popular pathway are the Lexington YMCA and Kentucky Horse Park, which features a 1,200-acre working farm, museums and horse shows.
At the trail's southern end, travelers can connect to the Hope Center Trail, which in turn connects to the Coolavin Rail Trail, to reach Coolavin Park and the Transylvania University Athletics Complex.
Future plans call for extending the trail farther south to the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden, named after an African-American jockey and multiple Kentucky Derby champion.
Parking is available at three trailheads: Coldstream Park at McGrathiana Boulevard, North Lexington Family YMCA on Loudon Avenue and Iron Works Pike across from the Kentucky Horse Park campground. Limestone pillars mark each end of the trail.
Road from YMCA to the end of the trail by The horse Park was a great Trail to ride needed a few more markers and some places but overall great ride
One of the best bikeways in the state. Rolling hills to the West, city access to the East.
We started at the northern trailhead in an RV park next to the Kentucky Horse Park on I-75, a major thoroughfare. There’s a parking lot across the highway, but the actual start of the trail is marked by an obelisk within the RV park. We headed on a paved path toward the beautiful fields and paddocks of the Horse Park, only to have it end abruptly two miles later. Oops. Start in the parking lot across the highway. Or start in town so your round trip will end at one of the town's most popular taprooms.
If you’re a cyclist who’s into simply getting miles with some mixed topography with no regard to scenery or shade, this is for you. As a cyclist who simply enjoys exploring and tooling around, this was not pleasant for much of the joirney. Too much traffic, boring office parks, and LOTS of sun. It may be better in 30 years when the trees they’ve planted start to mature.
We road a portion of the trail this morning. It is well maintained and very pleasant. There is lovely artwork built into the trail. We are novice bikers and this was a good trail for us as beginners.
I enjoyed the trail. Can't avoid the road noise, but looking at the country side, creek and whatever else made up for it. It was hillier than I expected, but manageable. Not just having a straight trail was nice also. I read the signs about the jockeys, horses and farms, which were interesting. I do agree that more signs are needed by the water tower area and the southern end to get to Hope Center Trail and Coolavin Trail. (I'll add a review at those sites). I was confused about the mileage. I parked at the YMCA, and went north until it ended at the gate, came back, went on the Hope Center Trail (both ways), the Coolavin Trail and a few blocks on city streets, and finally came back to my car at the YMCA and got a total of 24 miles, whereas the Legacy Trail was supposed to be 12 one way or 24 round trip on its own. I live in Ohio, so not near this trail, otherwise I would ride it more often.
Well marked and maintained. Bikers and people afoot share this path. Much to see from horse farms to the city skyline. Out and back trail with several entry points. Nice access from KY Horse Park Campground!
I don’t think you’ll get bored on this ride. Lots of curves and hills. Enjoyed the beautiful views of Kentucky Bluegrass Country. Enjoyed the signs about the history of the area, famous jockeys, and the environment around the creek. I parked at Coldstream Park off of Newtown Pike which is about MileMarker 5. MM6 to 7 was along the freeway and quite noisy. MM7 to 11 was beautiful curvy and hilly riding through fields and pastures. Crossed the creek about 5 times. The last mile from 11 to 12 was along the freeway on one side, but on the other side was the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park pastures. Trail stops abruptly at a pasture gate. Not many large trees so I suspect it’s quite warm in the summer.
The section from about MM5 to 2 becomes more urban. After crossing Newtown Pike, had a nice section along the creek to the Lexmark campus. After the YMHA at about MM3 it becomes on-road. Had a nice wide green painted bike lane on 4th St through Transylvania University. Road riding isn’t my thing so I never made made it to the end.
Great pavement the whole way. Nice brick/stone milemarkers and plastic milemarkers every 2/10s. Needs a sign by the water tank to indicate the trail goes right. The left fork goes to Coldstream Park. Needs another sign after crossing the railroad tracks south of the YMHA. Trail goes right. Left is just a short leg to a street.
Fun ride and got educated too. Can’t beat that....Bikin-Mike Dec 2020
Nice, peaceful, well maintained trail. My only complaint is that there were a handful of spots where riders weren’t given clear directions which way to go.
My husband, boys, and I enjoyed the urban scenery and the horse farms. Very well maintained and populated trail. Our only complaint is that hardly anyone used the courteous term, "passing on your left."
When I first moved to Kentucky, I didn't really like this trail. Compared to others of it's type, it's short, boring, out of the way, and a bit ugly in the way of scenery for most of it's length. But it serves its purpose adequately and is, from what I can tell, a rarity in the area. So it looks really good by comparison.
The pavement is generally well kept, though it is decorated with paintings in a few places (usually in the corners at the bottoms of descents), so cyclists need to watch out.
The path does cross roads and industrial drive ways with an extremely high density in some places, so keep your wits about you.
The southern half largely passes through or along side industrial parks, so you'll spend a lot of time near cars and exposed to wind and sun. The northern half is much prettier and feels more like a multiuse path should: lots of tree cover, nature and farm land and a much quieter experience.
The southern trail head, for all practical purposes, is at the North YMCA. You can find literature that claims it does or will extend into downtown, but if this is the case, it's not practical. Getting to the YMCA by bike is miserable. You have to traverse some of the busier roads in Lexington and the Lexington drivers are the worst towards cyclists I have ever experienced. My wife will only bike Legacy if we drive the mile to it from home.
The trail also lacks access to any sort of attraction other than the horse park. I miss trails that take you places for a coffee/beer stop or a quick lunch. Can't find that here. Not a big complaint, just something I grew accustomed to else where.
The trail does extend past the Iron Works trailhead along side Iron Works Pike for a while, but you're in the sun alongside cars again and the trail dead ends in the middle of nowhere.
Overall, if you want a trail to log miles, this is a passing one, if a bit short. If you are looking for a scenic trip, keep to the north half. The trail is far from the shangri la people view it as. There's just no other workable option for cyclists within a 2 hours drive that's longer than 5 miles.
Very scenic. Great for families.
Very nice bike trail from the Kentucky Horse Park. wasn’t very well marked and we went the wrong way a couple to times. Will do it again and figure out what we did wrong. Some folks told us it went to downtown Lexington but we couldn’t figure out his to get there. Better luck next time! Beautiful country except parts of it run by the interstate and it’s noisy.
I live an hour away from Lexington in Louisville (which has its own awesome trail at the Parklands if you're in KY anyway), but I drive to Lexington 2-3 times a month just to enjoy the beauty, serenity and pristine trail on the Legacy Trail. It recently has been extended another three miles past the Kentucky Horse park, making for a nice 25 mile round trip from near the YMCA downtown. The rolling hills, restrooms in the middle and lots of horse country, streams, bridges and well maintained paved trails make this is a great ride!! Go for it
Rode this trail on 30 Sep as part of the BourbonCountryBurn bike tour. Rode from KY Horse Park Campground to downtown Lexington. Trail is very well maintained. Has plenty of information markers along it about the surrounding area and it’s history. Takes you to many old restaurants in the Lexington area.
In April 2017 a friend and I took a break from interstate driving to ride the Legacy Trail into Lexington and back to its north end. The trail is good pavement and well marked. We liked the frequent signs telling the history and ecology of the area. Also, artists painted the trail surface in places, so it was fun to see their work. If you have time, ride into Lexington from the south end of the trail, to see the restored houses and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Passing through Lexington on I-75, we rode the Legacy trail on Sept 21 starting from the KY Horse Park. Ride on a beautifully constructed and well maintained paved surface along horse farms in the north, gradually becoming more urban as you move south. Very little shade for a hot day, and some sections paralleling noisy I-75, but with many picturesque open vistas. We encountered one short paved detour around a water construction project which was easy to navigate. Near the YMCA at the south end there is a 2.0 Mile trail marker, but the trail apparently ends there for now (it would be nice to add signage indicating the trail end). At the north end, the trail has been recently extended to the NW corner of the Horse Park, but that section is along I-75, even though the view East over the horse pastures is great. The Horse Park is also beautifully maintained and landscaped and worth exploring while there. Convenient campground with showers are available in the Horse Park Campground just East of the Horse Park. This trail is a great break from interstate driving.
Smooth, well maintained, beautiful scenery. A great ride.
I just started riding my bicycle again a few months ago and finally decided to ride the legacy trail. I have enjoyed this trail immensely. The scenery is great and the trail is well maintained. I do wish there were a water fountain or two along this trail, however I suppose one can carry their own water with them. I have made this trail a staple to my weekly work outs. (At least weather permitting)
This really is a nice trail. It is obvious this was not a cheap trail to build. It is fully paved and there are several steel bridges that are bike path only. I will enjoy it again next time I am down there. Also, if you enjoy MTB check out Veteran's Park. That is a really funny and flowy MTB trail.
..according the mile markers that show ~10 @the ky horse park end and ~2 @ the ymca end. not a rail trail either; lots of zigs and zags and rolling hills through rural suburbia, that provided a great workout in a hurry. very smooth surface in great condition had my gear higher for such a breezy sunday in mid-may. light crowd for such nice weather too.
A little chilly today but beautiful out on Legacy. My first visit - I'll be back! Well maintained path. Sculpture and artwork along the path gave it some added interest!
A well maintained trail winding through a beautiful landscape. There was evidence that a lot of money was spent on this trail. It is well paved, the staging area on the north end has ample parking and a maintenance station, and there are murals at regular intervals that are worth stopping to check out.
Everyone on the trail was friendly. Every person I passed said hello.
Hopefully this trail will be connected with more rides in the future.
The trail was only light used considering it was a Saturday morning. The start for us was just south of the Ky Horse park and was a very nice lot with an air pump. We went on into the Horse park camping ground where the trail ended for some drinks then headed back south.
The trail was clean quiet and meandered in and out of the woods and fields.
It ends abruptly on the North side of Lexington and it is not far to downtown if you want to get on the roads.
Very much enjoyed the trail and would recommend it for a quiet and relaxing ride
I'm new to Lexington and I was surprised to find out that there really is only one truly good and safe route to cycle, which is the Legacy. I came from a state that had many great trails to choose from. so I was a little disappointed that this was the only one that had any real distance to it. This trail is a very good route for an avid cyclist, short but good. Smooth pavement, well kept and very scenic. The hills are challenging which is a bonus to push yourself. It's not an easy breezy ride (flat), so it really is a good workout for your legs. I heard they are to expand this trail in the future and I hope that is true and soon. It not only gives cyclists a great route to open up on, but it also gives families with young kids a safe place to ride to have a nice family outing. For the most part everyone on the trail, joggers, pet walkers and cyclists are polite and courteous to others.
This was our first time biking the trail. There is a good mixture flat places and hills. None of the hills are too challenging. This trail is well maintained and the scenery is pleasant. Parking is convenient and there are a few bicycle repair stations along the way. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, this trail has much to offer.
This is a beautiful trail meandering through horse farms. The path crosses Cane Run Creek numerous times over lovely bridges. There are enough gentle hills to make it a good workout. It is not 12 miles, however. The end point will eventually be near the Isaac Murphy Museum, but all that is there currently is a big stone wall saying Legacy Trail. There is no trail there. Access is behind the YMCA
Parking was easy and convenient. Trail was well maintained. We didn't have our bikes with us on this trip, so we only walked about 5 miles beginning at the trail head at the horse park. We will back with our bikes next time, as soon as we get a chance.
i drive from a louisville to lexington each week to enjoy this trail. It is the PERFECT 25 mile ride with a great mix of hills, flat trails, creeks, tress, farm and horse country. There are places to stop along the way and the trail is maintained flawlessly. BEST trail in Kentucky!,
This was my first real attempt at riding a bike. I borrowed a bike and did my best on the hills. It was a challenge, but the scenery kept me going because I could not wait to see what was around the next bend. I went 11 miles that day, and went out and bought my own bike three days later. I think if they expand this trail onto Georgetown and into Downtown Lexington, it will become a favorite trail, since I don't really like road riding due to traffic and road obstacles. One hour away from me, but worth the drive.
Our troop went on this ride last weekend August 2013. We had boys from ages 11-14. It was roughly 8 miles from the Kentucky Horse Park to the YMCA.
We stopped once at the parking area in the University of Kentucky stretch. There is actually a maintenance station for bikes but the air hose connector is broken.
We were amazed at how easy it was to go the 8 miles to the YMCA. We divided our boys into two groups. The boys that wanted to go fast and the boys who wanted to go slow.
This was a great ride and we counted the down and back as 2 rides for the Cycling Merit Badge.
It was a lot of fun!!
The Legacy Trail has the right combination of scenary and challenge. It approximately a 12 mile round trip on a paved trail. The trail is very well maintained and their are a number of access points. If you are looking for a good workout, there a several challenging climbs. The trail runs both through city scape and country side. I highly recommend you check out this trail.
It's only two years old so the trail is in great shape and has many extras including native plant landscaping, public artwork,and stone mileage markers. A local bikestore donated stations at each of the three trailheads so you can get air for your tires or do minor repairs if needed. There are seven beautiful bridges and two tunnels one of which goes under interstate 75. If you begin at the Northside Y your first miles are on the edge of town. It's not bad scenery but the best is yet to come. There is one place where you have to cross a road but there is a stoplight and after that it's all trail. The Bluegrass landscape is rolling and there are a few pretty good size hills. Once you get out in the country it is gorgeous. You pass cornfields, horses grazing, old barns, a lake with geese and herons, and cross Cane Run Creek multiple times (hence all the bridges). The trail ends at the Horse Park and is about 9 miles long. However, you can extend your ride by going into the Horse Park where there are miles of roads which are very lightly traveled unless there is a major event going on. You ride through the Campground and come out into the park itself which is simply gorgeous. If you are looking for a fast ride/workout it's probably not the place for you because you need to be considerate of horses and riders and slow down or even stop as need be. There are some places they specifically ban bikes so be careful to avoid those places. We often bike over to get lunch. There's the park restaurant and Wednesday-Sundays the Farmhouse Cafe which has a higher quality of food is open. During horse shows the Paddock Cafe and Rolex stadium are serving. We even stop sometimes at the Campground store to get a fountain drink and candy bar before heading back. The other advantage of the Horse Park is lots of nice bathrooms so you can skip the portajohns on the trail itself. And if a horse show is going on it's great to take a minute and watch the beautiful sight of horses in action. On your way back to the Y you can also take a little detour on the old Coldstream section of the trail passing a dogpark and lake before you dead end at the Embassy Suites at which point you can retrace your path and reconnect with the Legacy Trail.
Jumped on at the Embassy Suites parking lot and rode out to the Horse Park. Definitely the most scenic part of the trail.
I looked forward to riding this trail after reading press clippings etc. A decent ride with some caveats. We started at the YMCA trail head and the first 3.5 miles was very urban with a plethora of stops and starts and no directional markings. When we reached the heavily traveled Newtown Pike intersection, we were at a loss as to which direction to go. After making a wrong turn, we crossed the busy highway and proceeded to the less urban section of the trail. The Horse Country scenery was fabulous, but the trial ended too quickly. Much to our disppointment, the entire trail was less than 8 miles as opposed to the advertised 12 miles. Hills were rolling and fun, If you want a quick partially scenic ride, check it out.
We did this ride today starting around 11:30am, easy to find and very well maintained trail. Light traffic along the way, nice views of the rolling landscape and creeks along the way. Some old barns about halfway through the ride were nice to see. The listing shows the trail as 12 miles, we started on the north end at the Horse Farm and went to the south end and returned and we logged only 16.2 miles. I realize there is a little bit of the trail on the other side of the Horse Farm road near the campground, but the sign said .2 miles. We drove from Indianapolis Indiana for the ride and it was a nice one, would be nice if it went all the way into downtown Lexington. We would have ridden into town and eaten at a local restaurant, instead of a fast food place nearby. Some of the hills were challenging for my girlfriend, overall a very nice ride though.
I'm so happy that Kentucky has began noticing the need for bike trails. The Legacy Trail is very nice. I was only able to ride from Coldstream Park to The Kentucky Horse Park and back (about 8 miles round trip). Next time I plan on riding from Coldstream Park to downtown and back. On my ride I crossed many bridges and rode through a tunnel that allows you to cross under I-75. Lots of fields to see. Saw a couple of horses. There are some hills on this section so be prepared. There is a spur you can take over to the entrance of The Kentucky Horse Park campground. It would be great to camp there and ride the entire trail to downtown, have lunch, and then return back to camp. At Coldstream Park and the trailhead by the horse park there are portable toilets. I didn't see any water sources but there could be and I just missed them. From Coldstream you have about a .5 mile ride on a spur that connects to the Legacy Trail. On my way home I noticed another parking area outside of the park that sits on the trail itself. Parking there would allow you to bypass the spur. I look forward to my next trip.
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