One of the most unique state parks in Kentucky is E.P. Tom Sawyer. The 550- acre park is located in Louisville in the northeastern part of Jefferson County off Westport Road. Named in honor of former Jefferson County Judge Executive Erbon Powers Sawyer 1915-1969, the Commonwealth of Kentucky originally purchased the land for the park in June 1969 from the Kentucky Department of Mental Health. The Kentucky Department of Parks leased the land and the buildings in 1970 and the park opened in 1974. A portion of the property had once been used for farmland for the mental health hospital.
Louisville and the metropolitan Jefferson County area is Kentuckys largest urban center. Both city and county are steeped in Kentucky history. As one of the three original Kentucky Counties Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln, Jefferson County grew rapidly in population and wealth. Rich farmlands bordering the Ohio River made the county one of the most desirable places to settle during the pioneer era. Louisville was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France for the French monarchs support of the American struggle for independence from Great Britain during the Revolution. The Ohio River town became a major trading center.
Notables from America and Europe came to Louisville for business and pleasure. Charles Dickens visited the city and wrote that the Galt House Hotel was as fine as any hotel in Paris. Jenny Lind, the famous nineteenth century Swedish singer, performed in the city. Oscar Wilde, the brilliant British wit and playwright, also visited Louisville.
Louisville is best known as the home of one of the most famous sporting events in the worldthe Kentucky Derby. Since 1875, the first Saturday in May is dedicated to watching the best in thoroughbred racing. Millions of people watch via television and listen to radios to horse racings premiere event.
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park is an extraordinary urban park. There are activities and events that offer something for even the most demanding individual. The park is open throughout the year.
There are three picnic shelters for public use. This area is a first come first serve basis, unless marked as reserved.
Shelter 1 is located near the main parking lot next to the playground. Included with the rental are a sand volley ball court and horse shoe pits. It has two attached restrooms, electrical hook ups, water, grill, and space to accommodate 150 people.
Shelter 2 is located near the main parking lot to the right of the Activities Building. It has water, grill, portable restrooms, and space to accommodate up to 100 people. It also includes a sand volley ball court and horse shoe pits.
Shelter 3 is located near the Sawyer Hayes Center on the back of the park. It has water, electrical hook ups, indoor restrooms, and space to accommodate up to 50 people.
The 1-mile fitness trail is a crushed limestone, level grade trail with 10 exercise stations. The 1.25- mile Goose Creek nature trail meanders through open meadow habitat to a semi-wooded area along Goose Creek. The loop trail is an easy grade trail. This trail is only open to hikers. Bicycles are not allowed on the trail. There is an additional trail near Shelter 3 which leads to the parks vernal pond. Please visit the Recreation Office for an informational guide to the vernal pond. All trails are open year-round. Please stay on main trails to reduce erosion problems in the park.
Enjoy the quiet atmosphere of a well appointed luxury 5 star cabin on the peaceful White River in scenic Martin County. Located directly on the rivers edge and surrounded with the serenity of natures hills. With the convenience of town located a mile away.