The first interesting place I stopped on my trip (after visiting EFRC on my way out of my own neighborhood) was the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest on Friday, July 22. This is a park close to Louisville, KY, which has an arboretum and some other highly landscaped areas, but also has a bunch of trails through natural areas. I only spent a couple of hours there, and only walked one trail.
This is the sign at the head of the trail I walked. It gives a bit of the feel of the place: a very nice looking sign that cost a good chunk of money, but reasonably tasteful.
Our next shot here is typical of what the trail is actually like: it's an unimproved trail, marked with small plastic markers on the trees. The trail markers are small enough that they only barely show up at the resolution of this picture.
The trail runs along the two sides of a small ravine with a creek that is mostly dry in this season. This picture is a typical view down into the ravine.
Here's a little purple flower that was growing beside the trail. I don't know what kind of flower it is. It's even possible it's not a native flower; decades ago flowers were planted in the woods along this trail that didn't necessarily belong there. I don't think many of them survived but some of them might have.
The trail passes beside this cool rock with plants growing on it.
Here's a view of the other side of the ravine, a striking little cliff with trees.
When the trail crosses the ravine, we get close to the water. There were water striders in the water.
Here's a closeup of a water strider over some rocks, and another picture with some leaves with another water strider providing an accent.
In addition to the small scale beauty at the bottom of the ravine, there's also a lovely view of the ravine itself reflected in the water.
After I got back from the trail, I took a few pictures in the visitor's center area.
Here's a picture of the vistor's center itself, which shows off that it's a rather striking building. It's a brand new building; the posts around it are supposed to support vines but the vines haven't grown yet. It's also supposed to have a living roof -- grass and other plants are just getting started and from the ground you can't really see it. It should look quite different in a few years.
This sign displaying a quote from the founder -- a local rich guy who bequeathed his estate to be a park -- closes out my little tour of Bernheim woods. "I send the invitation to come from the city, village, hamlet and farm, to re-create their lives in the enjoyment of nature and the many blessings she gives with open hand to those with understanding, in the park which I have dedicated to the use of the people..." -- Isaac Wolfe Bernheim