Greenbelt Walking Tours
The Elizabethtown Greenbelt is a wonderful outdoor activity perfect for the entire family!
It is a series of mini-parks and walking trails around Freeman Lake, Buffalo Lake, Fisherman’s Lake, and along the streams that
flow to and from them. There are over 18 miles of trails and two parks open to
the public. These trails and parks provide places for passive enjoyment of
natural areas. They are meant to preserve the natural attributes of the
numerous local waterways, making Elizabethtown, Kentucky a pleasant place in
which to live.
Banam Shaw Trail—1 mile
To access the trailhead, parking
is available at the City Tennis Court parking lot across St. John Road. This
trail is particularly popular with the Geocachers. This is a 1 mile trail along
Shaw Creek from St. Johns Road to the Deerfield Hills subdivision, (and
eventually to Rineyville Road). It is a particularly beautiful shaded trail
built by Boy Scouts in 2004.
Billy Creek Trail-3/4 mile
To access the Billy Creek trailhead, drive about 1 mile west on
St. John Road from the 31W Bypass. Park on the road near the City Ball Park.
Walk across St. John Road in an easterly direction to access the trail. Future
parking will be available at the City Ball Park.
Lake Trail—2 miles
The trail can be accessed at the trailhead along
Commerce Drive, at the 1.2M trail point from the end of Commerce Drive, and the
0.95M marker at the top of the dam by walking up the Cave Spring Trail and
Haycraft Trail from downtown Elizabethtown. The 1.9 mile trail follows Buffalo
Creek and circles Buffalo Lake. The area has been declared a Wildlife Habitat by
the City of Elizabethtown. There is good birding and a fine representation of
native flowers, trees and shrubs. The trail was developed and is often
improved by Boy Scouts who have built bridges and a scout camping area, held
clean ups and measured and mapped the trail.
This 1/4 mile trail connects Buffalo Lake Trail dam
to Haycraft Trail and Elizabethtown. This short dead end spur leads south off
the Haycraft Trail where it runs into Buffalo Creek and runs north to Buffalo
Dam. Historic Cave Spring, still flowing, provided the critical water supply to
the pioneer Haycraft Fort and later to the Civil War camp
Emerald Cathedral Trail Merge Area—encompasses a
At the junctures of Freeman Lake Trail, Pirtle Trail,
General Braddock Creek and the Prairie Grass Meadow Trail.
Fisherman’s Park—1/4 mile
Located at the end of J
Severns Lake/Valley Reservoir No 8 on Valley Creek Lane. To drive there, take
31W south from the Courthouse. Turn left at the light at the end of New Glendale
Road, and immediately right onto Hawkins Drive. Turn left onto Rt. 567 (Valley
Creek Road). At 0.6mi past the RR crossing, turn left onto Valley Creek Lane.
The park entrance sign is 0.5mi on the left. The park is heavily used
Freeman Lake Trail—4.9
The trail is a 4.9 circle around Freeman Lake. Markers
identify each 0.2 mile interval. It can be accessed on the west side off Nalls
Road or anywhere in Freeman Lake Park; on the north end at the Ring Road parking
lot, on the east side by walking the Pirtle Nature Trail from the Pear Orchards
parking lot and on the south end by walking the John Helm Trail from the
Helmwood shopping mall.
The William Halfacre Trailhead, with parking lot and
information kiosd for the Freeman Lake Trail, is located on the north end of the
lake off Ring Rd. A short section of the trail is paved from there to the Mary
Cofer Trigg bridge at Miller Creek. The rest of the trail is dirt, gravel or
Three loop trails lead off the main trail; the 3/4 mile Pirtle Nature
trail and General Braddock Creek at 1/4 M,. the 1/2 mile Claysville loop from
the ends of the dam and the 7/8 mile rotary scout loop at the rotary shelter or
The north and east trail areas are wooded while the south and west
portions are across open mowed grass. The popular trail is used by runners and
walkers who enjoy exercise, nature and fresh
Mill Park—small patio park
It is accessed by stone stairs off East
Dixie Highway across from the new Justice Center. There is a small parking lot
across the railroad tracks. This is a small patio park straddling Valley Creek
in downtown Elizabethtown. There is a parking lot and grassy hill on one side of
the stream. Across the bridge there are steps down to a paved
Haycraft Trail—3/4 mile
This trail follows
Valley Creek generally north and south from Haycraft Mill Park. The northeast
trail head is at a small parking lot beside the CSX Railroad and Hwy. 31W. The
trail crosses Valley Creek on the John Severns Bridge. It continues along the
wooded Valley and Buffalo Creeks and climbs a hill to pass historic sites and
provide a view of the Buffalo Creek valley. At the 0.66 mile point it becomes
the Cave Spring Trail which continues until a 0.9 mile marker on top of the
dam and Buffalo Lake Trail.
Jacob Vanmeter Trail and
This 1/4 mile trail at the Elizabethtown
Community Center was originally built by Boy Souts in 1990. It ran along Valley
Creek from the Mulberry Street bridge to the city by-pass. In 1994 it was
relocated to wind through the newly contoured land of the Arboretum project or
Let’s Spruce Up. The trail is dedicated to Josephine and Jim Puckett, active in
scouting and descendants of the Jacob
John Helm Trail—3/4 mile
This partially-paved trail
extends from the Helmwood Shopping Center on Dixie Hwy., across Diecks Drive,
and on to the Water Treatment Plant and dam at the southern end of Freeman Lake.
This is an easy to walk wooded trail along Freeman Creek. It is a 3/4 of a mile
long from the northwest corner of Helmwood Plaza to the Freeman Lake dam. The
first 1/4 mile is 1 of 3 paved trails in the Greenbelt system. The hill above
the trail was the site of one of three forts built by early settlers Thomas
Helm, Andrew Hynes and Samuel Haycraft.
John Severns Trail—1/2
The John Severns Trail follows along Valley Creek from its
junction with Buffalo Creek to Springfield Road. This shaded 3/4 mile trail
follows Valley Creek between its junction with Buffalo Creek and Springfield
Road. The land was set aside by a local developer.
North Billy Creek Trail- 3/4 Mile
This is a 3/4 mile
trail off St. Johns Road. Eventually it will connect by a Highlands Trail to
Deerfield Hills subdivision and the Banam Shaw Trail and extend southward
downstream to the city soccer fields.
Pirtle Interpretive Nature Trail
This is a pleasant 3/4
mile loop trail. It begins from a parking lot on Pear Orchard Road where, in
1976, junior soil conservationists planted rows of autumn olive. The trail
passes through four types of woodlands: a young woods replacing a 1960 open
field, a yellow poplar stand type, an oad-hickory stand type and a bottom
hardwoods stand type. It is a g reat trail for spring wildflowers. Halfway
around there are benches at a lovely hillside area called the Emerald Cathedral.
It overlooks General Braddock Creek and is at the 1/4 mile marker of the Freeman
Lake Trail which runs north and south from
Wildflower/Prairie Grass Meadow Trail—1/4
This trail is located on property owned by the Presbyterian
Church on Pear Orchard Road.
This is a 2/3 mile paved trail along Valley Creek in downtown
Elizabethtown. It passes under bridges on 31W and US 62. It connects the
Haycraft Mill Park and Justice Center to the Vanmeter Trail at the Pritchard
Community Center. Points of interes beginning at the justice center are: the
Noel Woodland Patio, a Greenspace information kiosk, a fountain and pond, a side
trail along a flood plain with a wildflower border, a Faeire Glade rest area,
the Embry Lay Nature Thicket and a picnic shelter.
Contact: GreenSpace Inc., Elizabethtown City Hall