Traveler: Fun Goes Underground in Louisville

Cavernous adventures and outdoorsy activities abound in Louisville.
Louisville Mega Cavern

As the season heats up, you can always find climate-controlled outdoor entertainment at Louisville Mega Cavern (1841 Taylor Ave., 502-855-6342). It’s 60 degrees and dry year-round in the massive cave system 10 minutes from downtown. The zipline course has been a buzzed-about adventure for a few years, but the new mountain-bike trails are getting all the attention now. The only underground bike park in the world, the Mega Cavern features both beginner- and expert-level runs, including some jumps that will have your screams echoing off of the rocks.

If you prefer sunshine, check out the Louisville Loop. The 100-mile path will wrap around Louisville upon completion, connecting several city parks and other recreational facilities. Right now, 39 miles are open, with the longest contiguous section (more than 20 miles) starting at the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge spanning the Ohio River.

Jefferson Memorial Forest (11311 Mitchell Hill Rd., Fairdale, 502-368-5404) doesn’t connect to the Loop yet, but the largest urban woodland in the United States contains more than 35 miles of scenic trails. Keep an eye out for bobcats, red-tailed foxes, and horned owls that hide among the park’s towering oak trees and colorful wildflowers.

No trip to Bluegrass Country would be complete without riding a horse, and the guides at Little Big Horse Trails (1100 E. Hwy. 524, LaGrange, 502-222-1842) will help you saddle up. Tours start at $30 for a gentle, one-hour trot across the streams and wooded hills of the picturesque countryside. ­

21c Museum Hotel
Asleep in the Cyclone at 21c Museum Hotel

Drive Time: 2 hours

Stay: Clean up and check into the sleekly appointed 21c Museum Hotel (from $299/night; 700 W. Main St., 502-217-6300).

Eat: Against the Grain (401 E. Main St., 502-515-0174) is the Sun King of Louisville.

Listen: In July, hometown heroes My Morning Jacket and Grammy darling Sam Smith will rock the waterfront during the Forecastle Festival.