Shawnee Park Has A New Hiking Trail, And A Mural In Honor Of ‘Bud’ Dorsey Jr.

Shawnee Park has a new half-mile loop hiking trail in the old Fontaine Ferry Amusement Park area, and a new mural that uses photos captured by the late Charles “Bud” Dorsey, Jr.

New Hiking Trail

The newly completed hiking trail can be accessed near the Shawnee Boat Ramp. It’s a half-mile trail loop with views of the Ohio River with some recreational riverfront access.

The trail was unveiled yesterday by Councilwoman Donna Purvis, who was joined by Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials.

“We have been working over the past several years to transform our historic Shawnee and Chickasaw parks into even more exciting, diverse greenspaces, providing rich environmental experiences for people from all walks of life,” said Fischer in a statement. “A great deal of gratitude is owed to all who worked to bring this new amenity to the community.”

The trail is part of the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative (WLORI), which is led by the Louisville Parks and Recreation’s Natural Area Division and funded by nonprofit Wilderness Louisville.

The statement said that the mission of the initiative is to “increase equitable access to nature for Louisville children and families and is focused on expanding programming and related park amenity development to better serve the community of West Louisville.”

New Mural

Shawnee Park is also home to a new mural based on photographs by the late Charles “Bud” Dorsey, Jr., known for documenting life in West Louisville for over 50 years as a photojournalist.

The mural was designed by the STEAM Exchange, a community arts nonprofit that used photos taken by Dorsey for the Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors (ECHO) program. 

You can find the mural near the newly completed trail, marking the location of the final WLORI project.

Future Plans

The Metro Government has allocated $2.5 million of American Rescue Plan funds to complete a Chickasaw Pond Restoration and Forest Play Area concept, with an additional $408,000 committed by Wilderness Louisville, Inc. (specifically for the Forest Play Area).

Work on the new Forest Play Area is set to begin in early fall, with work on the Chickasaw Pond restoration to start next spring.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Wilderness, Inc.

The last project on the WLORI master plan is to complete The Shawnee Outdoor Learning Center which according to the statement will “work to improve social cohesion with the creation of new community programming that utilizes the new infrastructure.”

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