Due to a heat index exceeding 90 degrees, the Millennium Trail and Elm Lick Trail will remain closed until further notice.

Cedar and Holly Ponds are now the Olmsted Ponds

By Amy Joseph Landon

The two Arboretum ponds, known as Cedar and Holly Ponds are getting a new name as a tribute to our history. The ponds were designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1939 as part of the original Bernheim Master Plan. The firm’s involvement continued the legacy of their father, renowned Landscape Architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. The Olmsted family has played an important role in designing many of our nation’s notable destinations, including the White House grounds, New York’s Central Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and many of the prominent parks and parkways of Louisville, including Cherokee and Iroquois Parks.

These ponds are a highlight of the Arboretum, especially with the addition of Little Nis and his reflection. They’re also a great spot for spotting Canada geese, and even the occasional blue heron.  The two ponds open on the first weekend each June as part of Bernheim’s Family Fishing Days. One of our most popular trails, Two Ponds Loop crosses the dam between the two lakes. Be sure to stop by in spring to see the stunning pinks, purples and whites of dogwood and redbud blooms that line the banks. Come by in the fall for the rich hues of the changing color around the surrounding knobs.

The ponds are a wonderful part of the Bernheim Arboretum landscape and we’re thrilled to honor the renowned design that’s woven into our history.


In 2019, Bernheim celebrates 90 years of connecting people with nature. At over 25 square miles, Bernheim is the largest privately held forest dedicated to conservation and education in the region. Our arboretum is home to plant collections of over 8,000 varieties, public art, and educational programming for thousands of students.  Our pristine forest hosts hikers and outdoor adventures alongside research and conservation projects which will serve to protect the environment for future generations.

As a 100% member and donor supported organization, we could not fulfill this important mission without you. We hope you’ll continue to support our efforts throughout the next 90 years.  Join or donate by clicking here.

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