Thanks to the work of the talented Frederick Law Olmstead, Greater Louisville isn’t exactly suffering from a lack of gorgeous, open green space. With expansive parks like Cherokee, Shawnee, and the Parklands of Floyds Fork, there’s a wealth of places to take the kids, dogs, and out-of-town guests for outdoor playtime, picnics, sports, or adventures.
Richard L. Vissing Park, named after Jeffersonville’s beloved first full-time mayor, is located a few miles over the bridge in Southern Indiana. Though comparatively small to the enviable park space throughout the city of Louisville and surrounding areas, Vissing Park is packed with fun for kids of all ages. With two covered picnic areas, a looping 0.5 mile paved walking trail, two playgrounds, two softball fields, two batting tunnels, a concession stand (open during games), a full basketball court, and gravel paths that guide walkers or runners through the beautiful wooded areas surrounding the park, this newly constructed Jeffersonville addition is a summer favorite. (The only thing that seems to be missing is a water fountain, so plan accordingly.)
The two brightly colored playgrounds feature modern, sophisticated equipment, and though neither is designed specifically designed for tots, the bigger playground at the front of the park is certainly a magnet for older kids. With a mini-climbing wall, complex spinners, and spring riders that will test the balance of even the most agile rider, it’s easy to see why. Located just beyond the sheltered picnic areas, this makes a great spot for birthday parties, day-camps, and activities with larger groups.
Deeper in the park visitors can find a smaller playground that includes a slide, swings, a rope jungle-gym tower, and climbing tunnels. Nestled between the two softball fields, this play space is covered with netting to keep kids safe from foul balls and home-runs. At each playground, the swing sets include an infant swing and a full-support swing seat designed for children with physical disabilities.
The paved trail that connects each section of the park is surrounded by grassy hills perfect for running and exploring, as well as designated environmental conservation areas that pay homage to the wooded space that existed before the park’s construction.
Dog-walkers will find plenty of pet-waste stations along the walking paths, and there’s ample room for parking near the covered picnic area at the front of the park.
Vissing Park is definitely worth adding to the list of outdoor hot spots now that our spring days in Louisville are filled with plenty of sunshine.
2728 Vissing Park Road, Jeffersonville
Daily, Dawn to Dusk
Photo credit: Kirsten Clodfelter