Trails, a playground, dog park, more: Sneak peek at Lexington’s plans for Cardinal Run North

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Preliminary plans for Lexington’s first large park in decades include walking trails, sports fields, a dog park and plenty of open space.

Cardinal Run North, bordered by Parkers Mill, New Circle and Versailles roads, will also feature a playground, restrooms, sheltered picnic areas and plenty of open space, plans unveiled Tuesday show.

The 137-acre park was acquired by the city in 1997. Cardinal Run, a baseball park opposite Cardinal Run North on Parkers Mill Road, was developed more than two decades ago. Lack of funding meant the nearly 140-acres remained untouched for decades.

Thanks to $121 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, the city was able to set aside $10 million from coronavirus relief funding to build the first phase of the large, regional park in Fayette County in decades.

The city has hired a design firm to begin work on Cardinal Run North, a new more than 100-acre park off of Versailles Road and Parkers Mill Road.
The city has hired a design firm to begin work on Cardinal Run North, a new more than 100-acre park off of Versailles Road and Parkers Mill Road.

During a Tuesday Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council work session, staff with Brandstetter Carroll, a consultant hired to help develop preliminary plans for the park, presented their findings.

Those preliminary designs were informed by a public meeting and surveys of area residents over several weeks this fall.

The top request? Paved trails, said Pat Hoagland, of Brandstetter Carroll, during Tuesday’s meeting.

Other amenities residents said they wanted included more sports courts, play grounds, picnic shelters, dog parks and disc golf areas.

Using that feedback, Brandstetter Carroll developed preliminary plans for the 137 acres, Hoagland said.

The preliminary plans call for just shy of 2.9 miles of paved and unpaved trails and an 8-acre dog park. A 100-foot buffer between the park and nearby neighborhoods is also planned, Hoagland said.

An old barn on the property will be preserved with hopes it will eventually become a nature center when there is funding,

Groundbreaking is set for this spring. The first phase of the project will likely be completed by 2024. A grand opening is expected in spring of 2025.

Conrad said the city believes it can build the four sport courts, the dog park, restrooms and trails with the $10 million currently allocated.

Operational cost to maintain the park after it is built are being finalized, Conrad said.

“Our folks in those neighborhoods are so excited about this,” said Councilwoman Kathy Plomin, who represents part of the area where Cardinal Run North is located.

The only entrance into the park will be off of Parkers Mill Road. There is no entrance off of Versailles Road, which is a state road controlled by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

There will also be no entrance off of New Circle Road, which has caused some concern from residents on Parkers Mill Road. Parkers Mill Road is already congested, residents have said.

“I have heard from people about the amount of traffic on Parkers Mill,” said Councilman David Sevigny, who represents that area.

Hoagland said they will be getting more accurate traffic counts this spring. The city could explore installing a traffic signal at that location if traffic counts show it is needed.