E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Things To Do
On Saturday, April 10, 2004, the Louisville Dog Run Association and Kentucky Department of Parks opened the Sawyer Dog Park. Sawyer Dog Park was the first official off-leash dog park in our community.
Sawyer Dog Park is located in the northeast corner of the park property across Freys Hill Road from the main park entrance. The park spans across approximately six acres and is divided into three two-acre areas: one for small dogs (dogs under 30 pounds) and two for all dogs. Membership to the Louisville Dog Run Association is required to enter the dog park. For more information on the Louisville Dog Run Association, please visit www.louisvilledogs.com.
The Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS), established in 1933, is dedicated to promoting astronomy to the people of Greater Louisville. LAS created an astronomy center right here at the park where they host free monthly Star Parties. You can gaze through their telescopes at the planets and stars or bring your own for a lesson. The facilities include a classroom where LAS conducts space programs for all ages. They are also available for group events. For Star Party dates and other information, visit their website, http://louisville-astro.org.
Orienteering is a sport in woods navigation where a person uses a map and compass to complete a course. It can be done by yourself or with your family. It is a great way to spend part of the day discovering new parts of the park! E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park offers a 4.2 km permanent orienteering course featuring 10 controls (check points) in a mixed forest and park-like setting. You can get your map by clicking here
The range has target distances of 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards and 10 and 15 meters. It is free and open to the public. Only field tipped arrows are allowed to be used at the Archery Range. Group archery lessons are available for your scout troop, civic organization, or business.
Lessons are offered in Spring, Summer, & Fall. Our instructors are National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Certified.
Call for information about leages and tournaments! Contact the Recreation Department at 502-429-7270 for more information, pricing, and availability.
The Activities Building has a large gym with four badminton/pickleball courts. The space is available for Badminton use Wednesday 6pm-8pm and Sunday 12pm- 2pm. Participants need to bring their own equipment. For rental information, please contact the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270.
We have a full court outdoor basketball court across the road from the Activities Building open from dawn to dusk. Our gymnasium is available for rent at a cost of $65.00/hr. Call the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270 for more information on basketball and gym rental opportunities.
Many of our year round residents are easily found throughout the winter months, including chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, cardinals, sparrows, robins, and woodpeckers. The neotropical migrants are found in the park during the spring and summer. A special treat is to hear and possibly see the mating flights of the American Woodcock. Simply go out at dusk any evening in March near one of the brushy fields (by Hurstbourne parking lot is best)and you will start to hear the single raspy “peent” calls of the staging males. Suddenly, a male takes flight while giving a continuous series of chirps and twitters as it climbs in a large spiral to a height of several hundred feet. It will return in a series of swooping dives, still chirping away, to land within a few feet of where it started. This show will repeat for about half an hour after dusk.
And come see our watchable wildlife at the new bird blind. Some of the more common birds you will see are cardinals, tufted titmice, robins, chickadees, and Carolina wrens. Bring your list of birds or get a bird list from the Recreation Office.
The park features a BMX track that is considered one of the best in the country and hosts the National BMX Grand Championships every Labor Day Weekend. All riders must wear protective gear and comply with park and track rules. Derby City BMX holds races here Wednesdays and Saturdays from early spring through the fall months. The track is open from March 1 - October 31 and is open to the public when races are not being held. There is a fee for racing. Visit www.derbycitybmx.org.
The Tom Sawyer Community Gardens have grown to 155 garden plots. These gardens are available to the public at a cost of $32 per plot for the season. One garden plot per family. Gardening is an excellent way for exercise, eating healthy, socializing, and learning. The park offers garden programs once a month at the gardens during the summer months, and there will be a Harvest Sampler held the first Saturday in October to celebrate the harvest. For more information, please call the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270.
The 1-mile fitness trail is a crushed limestone, level grade trail with 10 exercise stations. The 1.25- mile Goose Creek nature trail meanders through open meadow habitat to a semi-wooded area along Goose Creek. The loop trail is an easy grade trail. This trail is only open to hikers. Bicycles are not allowed on the trail. There is an additional trail near Shelter 3 which leads to the park’s vernal pond. Please visit the Recreation Office for an informational guide to the vernal pond. All trails are open year-round. Please stay on main trails to reduce erosion problems in the park.
Model Airplane Flying
Also of interest is a radio-controlled airfield. The runway (400 feet long, 35 feet wide) may be used by all pilot members of the River City Remote Controllers. Open 10 AM to dusk daily, except for dates reserved for contests. Open year-round. Membership is required before using the airfield. Please call 502-241-0344 for more information.
Orienteering is a sport in woods navigation where a person uses a map and compass to complete a course. It can be done by yourself or with your family. It is a great way to spend part of the day discovering new parts of the park!
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park offers a 4.2 km permanent orienteering course featuring 10 controls (check points) in a mixed forest and park-like setting. Maps can be picked up from Activities Building.
The Activities Building has a large gym with a basketball court and four badminton/pickleball courts. It is open for pickleball use Tuesday 9am-11am and Thursday 9am-11am. Equipment provided by the park. For rental information please contact the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270.
There are three picnic shelters for public use. This area is a first come first serve basis, unless marked as reserved.
Click here for shelter rental information and pricing.
Shelter 1 is located near the main parking lot next to the playground. Included with the rental are a sand volley ball court and horse shoe pits. It has two attached restrooms, electrical hook ups, water, grill, and space to accommodate 150 people.
Shelter 2 is located near the main parking lot to the right of the Activities Building. It has water, grill, portable restrooms, and space to accommodate up to 100 people. It also includes a sand volley ball court and horse shoe pits.
Shelter 3 is located near the Sawyer Hayes Center on the back of the park. It has water, electrical hook ups, indoor restrooms, and space to accommodate up to 50 people.
The park has two playgrounds. One near Picnic shelter number 1, and another near the dog park.
The park has 14 soccer fields. Leagues and clinics are offered for various ages and levels of competition on these fields. Fall and Spring Leagues are run by the Sawyer Youth Soccer Association. For information regarding registration call 502-572-8568 or visit their website at http://www.sawyeryouthsoccer.com
For League and rental info, please call Derby City Sports at 502-773-7920
The park's 12 tennis courts are open 7 a.m. to dusk daily.
Courts can be rented for a fee up to six months in advance. Please contact the Recreation Office at 502-429-7270 for more information, pricing & availability.
Spring and Fall leagues available. We offer tennis leagues for play levels 2.0-4.0. Men’s, Women’s, Double’s, Senior (ages 50 and up), and Junior (ages 18-25) leagues are available. All follow the USTA format. Registration is required for league participation. Call the Park Recreation Office at 502-429-7270 for more information.