The Pope Lick Monster Has His Own Park: Monster Hunting Made Easy!

The Park Lands Project of Floyds Fork has recently opened Pope Lick Park, making access for monster hunters who’d like to visit the Goat Man’s Trestle and surrounding woods safer and easier than ever before!

Greetings monster lovers and urban legend believers, it’s the Phantom of the Ville, welcoming you to Pope Lick Park! As Sir Richard Attenborough’s eccentric dinosaur park owner, John Hammond, said in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, “We spared no expense.”

Indeed, even though 21st Century Parks is a private non-profit organization, they seem to be seriously invested in Louisville’s green infrastructure. Pope Lick Park is really, really nice, and there’s more to come.

Beckley Creek Park and Pope Lick Park are open now with Turkey Run Park and Broad Run Park scheduled to open in late 2015, encompassing nearly 4,000 acres of park lands stretching from Shelbyville Road in the north to Bardstown Road in the south.

When I joined the Louisville Halloween team nearly four years ago, one of the first articles I published was a look back at the mystery of the Pope Lick Monster (one of Louisville’s most enduring cryptozoological legends) and a contemporary tour of the Goat Man’s  domain.

As much as had changed since I remembered the desolation and spookiness of the trestle area in the 1980s, much more has changed in just over the last year. Due to unprecedented urban sprawl across the land between J-town and Fisherville, the traffic whizzing up and down Taylorsville Road day and night had become as dangerous for urban legend trippers wishing to stare up at the infamous trestles as an encounter with the Goat Man himself.

Not to mention the cars whisking and winding down Pope Lick Road with very little side road space for civilians to park, take photos of the trestle structure or to peer into the woods in hopes of spotting the elusive horned beast.

No longer! Now part of the Louisville Loop, a planned 100-mile paved recreational path that will connect the city through neighborhoods and parks, curiosity seekers can now safely travel underneath Taylorsville Road and across Pope Lick Creek via a newly built metal underpass.

Once on the other side of Taylorsville Road, you’ll find a crosswalk that leads directly to the Louisville Loop pathway and a large, slopped pavilion just underneath the train trestle. Now, rain or shine, you can stand beneath the pavilion at Trestle Point, staring up into local myth as you share ghost stories and/or high school adventures.

Bring your camera! The world needs more blurry monster photos.

The miles of paved pathways and dirt trails, like the one that meanders through Big Beech Woods just down the way, give local armchair cryptozoologists plenty of chances to scope out Goat Man’s sacred turf. Let’s face it, Goat Man can’t just lurk by the train trestle all the time. He must have lots of hiding places in the surrounding woods and creek beds.

Just fifty yards past the trestle and only a few feet from the pathway, I spotted a hunter’s tree stand in the woods marked as PRIVATE PROPERTY. Now, I know it’s likely that someone has used that perch to hunt squirrel or deer, but my imagination would love me to believe it was built by a modern monster hunter hoping to catch a midnight glimpse of a cloven hoofed devil.

Some words of warning: The public park closes at dusk and police are known to patrol the area around Trestle Point after dark. Be safe. We DO NOT recommend or endorse ignoring the NO TRESPASSING signs and fences built around the trestle or attempting to cross the railroad trestle at any time. Ever. The trestle is still in daily, continuous use by freight trains and it takes a train moving at 55 miles an hour over a mile to stop.

We DO recommend you take advantage of these new parks for biking, hiking, canoeing, exploring, dreaming and even monster questing. Park maps are available at the Trail Kiosk not far from the Park Gateway as you turn right off of Taylorsville Road (coming from J-town) onto Pope Lick Road.

Send us your best blurry monster photos!

The Phantom of The Ville

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