Photo credit: Mari Mar, Friendly Pines. This image depicts trees around Lake Nevin at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.
Half an hour south of downtown Louisville lies a refuge for all seasons, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Bernheim's attractions include an arboretum and 35 miles of hiking trails.
Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, a German immigrant who succeeded in distilling, established the forest in 1929 by assembling 14,000 heavily farmed and logged acres in Bullitt and Nelson Counties. Frederick Law Olmsted designed Bernheim Forest's original layout. Bernheim gave his Forest for the future enjoyment of his fellow Kentuckians.
Today's forest consists of an arboretum and a natural area. The arboretum contains formal and informal plant collections. The visitor's center is Kentucky's first platinum-level LEED-certified building. In the natural area, primarily a beech-maple forest, visitors can explore over 35 miles of hiking trails, ranging from casual strolls to a strenuous, all-day excursion on the Millennium Trail. The Quiet Garden offers especially serene views of Lake Nevin, the largest of Bernheim's four lakes.