601 E. High Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40502
Woodland Park is a 19.40 acre park that is located near downtown Lexington (3rd District). The park was only a portion of Woodlands, the estate of James Erwin, son-in-law of Henry Clay. The Woodland Park Association bought 100 acres of the estate in 1882, sold off 480 lots and used the remaining 15 acres for a park. The park, which was completely fenced in with an entrance at Park Avenue, was opened to the public in May 1885. Two years later a Chautauqua Association was chartered here and they utilized the park for a variety of cultural and educational programs for the public.
There was an auditorium built near the center of the park in the 1880’s that was used for concerts, conventions and other public meetings. Frequently large tents were erected on the grounds for special occasions such as religious meetings, political rallies, barbecues and concerts that were attended by many Lexingtonians and Central Kentuckians. “The Great Train Robbery,” an early moving picture, was shown in the auditorium in the spring of 1905, a year or two before Lexington had any regular movie theatres. In October 1905, the frame auditorium was replaced by a large brick one that stood at the northeast corner of Kentucky Avenue and East High Street.
This park also once contained a small pond called Lake Chenosa. It was in the area of the park that is now a baseball field. People could go swimming or boating in the summer and skating in the winter. It was filled in about 1895 after a young boy broke his neck diving in to swim. It is still known to pond/flood during heavy rains.
The city purchased the property in 1902 as one of the first city parks. Today it remains one of Lexington’s most popular parks and continues to offer special events to the community.
(Source: “Lexington: A Century of Photographs” by Bettie L. Kerr and John D. Wright, Jr. and “Lexington: Heart of the Bluegrass” by John D. Wright, Jr.)
Baseball/Softball Field (1)
Basketball Court (2)
Horseshoe Pit (2)
Skate Park (1)
Tennis Courts (4)
There is one shelter located in Woodland Park that contains picnic tables and a BBQ grill. This shelter may not be reserved – it is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also a gazebo in the park that can be used by the public in the same manner if it has not been reserved by Parks & Recreation for a special event such as the Woodland Art Fair or Ballet Under the Stars. Contact the rental office at (859) 288-2975 for any special considerations.
Woodland Skate Park
Opened in September 1999, the Woodland Skate Park is approximately 12,000 square feet and features a variety of ramps, platforms, bowls and pipes. It offers a great skating experience for beginners while at the same time, challenges the most experienced skater. This facility is open to the public year-round at no charge. It is strongly recommended that safety equipment be used at all times and patrons not use the facility during inclement weather. The Skate Park, and Woodland Park, will close each evening at 11 pm.
Woodland Aquatic Center
Woodland Park is home to one of the city’s four aquatic centers. This state-of-the-art facility includes a bath house, concession area, water play area for children 10 & under, outdoor play area (sand), playground, interactive pirate ship, looped slide, a 3-meter diving board, lap lanes, grassy beach area for sunning and zero-depth entry/exit. Swim lessons and swim team competitions are held here. Daily admission is $4 for youth 15 & under and $5 for adults 16 & over. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 am – 8 pm and Sunday, 1 – 8 pm. For additional information on this facility, contact the Aquatics Office at (859) 288-2973.