Parks & Recreation


Community Park Hiking/Biking Trails

The Bardstown Community Park, located at 429 E. Halstead Dr. has picnic tables, a pavillion, restrooms, volleyball and basketball courts, a playground, and a small trail system for hiking and biking. When you explore the trails, please leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos and memories!

Digital Trail Map

Town Creek Trail | 0.77 miles
Trail Color: Red
Difficulty : 2/5

Steepest Grade: 30% (1/3 grade)
This trail for intermediate level trail walkers provides a chance to experience a natural wilderness hidden in the middle of town. Follow the Town Creek, which you will cross over at three different points along the trail. Stop and admire the view of the 1.2 million-gallon water tower before working your way (carefully) down a relatively steep hill to the main part of the trail. 

Reservoir Ridge Trail | 0.68 miles
Trail Color: Blue
Difficulty : 3/5

Steepest Grade: 50% (1/2 grade)
This trail takes you around the north side of one of the original reservoirs and then up toward State Highway 245. You'll then loop back on the other side and follow a steep rock shelf. Hikers should be aware of the steep downhill slope (50% grade) approx. 1/4 of a mile into the hike. 

Federal Hill Loop | 0.62 miles
Trail Color: Orange
Difficulty : 5/5

Steepest Grade: 50% (1/2 grade)
For experienced hikers only! This trail takes you along the top of the ridge that you pass on the other two trails. There are several steep climbs up and down ravines. This trail is not a loop on its own, but can be combined with the Town Creek and Reservoir Ridge Trails to form a challenging 1.42 mile loop around the perimeter of the park. 


Hiking TrailHiking with History
Town Creek Trail
In 1800 when William Bard began to sell lots in Bards Town, he used this natural watercourse as an incentive to build up on the hill, "...for natural drainage to carry away village waste". Town Creek supplied water for animals, two mills, and a tannery in the early 1800s. In 1905, the town's water supply came from three Town Creek reservoirs. This was Bardstown's only source of drinking water until Sympson Lake was built in 1963.

In the 1980s, the state government ordered the earthen dams which held back the water to be breached. They were deemed a danger to the public should they break. 

Today, a walk through the native plants and trees allows a look back to when Town Creek was a natural source of water and recreation for Bardstown. Children's laughter rings out from the Community Park as families picnic where deer used to roam. Many a young man dropped a worm on a hook in the old stream, and later, the reservoirs. Today, listen to the music of the birds and enjoy the sweet smells of nature. Walk and wonder!

Trail Safety
  • The Bardstown Community Park Nature Trails are open from dawn to dusk
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times
  • ATVs are not permitted
  • Stay on marked trails to avoid ticks, poinson ivy, and getting lost
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, especially when hiking more difficult trails
  • HIke with a friend or let someone know where you are going before you leave
  • Help protect the trails. Leave plants, animals, and other natural features as you found them
  • Take all trash with you and put in marked containers at the end of your hike
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park