Updated: Nov 14, 2020
On Tuesday, 7/16/19 Beargrass Thunder went to check out George Rogers Clark Park, which we read contained the "oldest living tree in Louisville Metro Parks."
This 200+ year old Bald Cypress tree is located at the site of Mulberry Hill where George Rogers Clark, the founder of Louisville, and his family resided. The tree grew near the springhouse and a tributary of Beargrass Creek.
You can read more about the tree on Louisville Metro Park's website.
George Rogers Clark Park contains no paved surfaces, but has an easily traversable dirt path that runs a circuit around the property. Beargrass Creek runs through the middle of the park providing a living space for various wildlife. We saw different species of birds, butterflies and other insects, and some deer and raccoon tracks.
There are many legends surrounding the origin of the tree including one in which George Rogers Clark slammed his walking staff into the ground from which the tree emerged, as well as another where a Native American brave hid within the open trunk of the tree when bark closed around him, entrapping him and his spirit for the rest of eternity.
At the base of the hill are a patch of tall mulberry trees which provides nice shade and coverage on the path, which leads to the site of the legendary Bald Cypress with it's fenced enclosure. Crossing the bridge gave us a great view of the tributary of the Beargrass Creek south fork and the wildlife within in. Going up Mulberry Hill gave us another great view of our surroundings and even provided a picnic table and two-person swing which definitely provided some entertainment along the way.
We also noticed that while there were many towering trees which are enjoyable to look at, the majority of the park was mowed grass in the style of a giant lawn. While this may be more "aesthetically pleasing" than traditional fields and meadows, it greatly hinders the biodiversity of the area, and takes away the habitat of many animals and other wildlife that our ecosystem depends on.
Overall we had a great experience at George Rogers Clark Park. We were unaware of its existence before this week, and it certainly provided a sense of history and awe within us as we explored and walked through it. If you're in the area, we certainly recommend checking it out. Allow yourself to get away from the endless sea of pavement and appreciate the truly wonderful parks our city of Louisville has to offer.
You can learn more about the park's history, how to get there, and what you can do to support it here at Metro Parks blog. You can view more pictures and videos on our Facebook page and can help us out by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Keep up to date by subscribing to our mailing list to be notified of new updates on our website. If you would like to reach out to us for any reason, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!