November at Bernheim brings fall foliage, hikes, and the State of the Forest

By bernheim

Evening event celebrates 90 years of history, conservation, connections to the bourbon industry and more

Bernheim is holding a special 90th anniversary State of the Forest program to celebrate almost a century of connecting people with nature.

The evening event, held on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 6 – 10 p.m., will be at the Frazier Museum in Louisville. Bernheim will celebrate the past, present, and future of our beloved forest. Guests will have the opportunity to receive private tours of the museum’s recently installed exhibit, “The Spirit of Kentucky” and enjoy cocktails and dinner! Bernheim staff will present the “State of the Forest,” at a time when Bernheim has seen more visitors than any other time in its history, and is faced with a severe threat that could forever change the quality of the Forest.

The cost is $50 for Bernheim Giving Circles members, $75 for Bernheim members, and $100 for non-members. Visit or call (502) 955-8512 to register.

See below for other exciting events happening throughout the rest of the month.

ECO Kids Discovery Days
The E-C-O stands for Every Child Outside, and that’s exactly where kids can be found during ECO Kids Discovery Days. Discovery Days take place the first and third Saturday of each month at Bernheim’s Visitor Center and include:
On Your Own Challenge from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Discovery Stations from 1 – 4 p.m.
Hike of the Day led by a Bernheim guide, starts at the Visitor Center at 2 p.m. and runs 45-60 minutes.

The theme on Saturday, Nov. 2, is Stalking Squirrels. Kids can follow squirrels as they climb, jump and scurry through Bernheim, using the On Your Own Challenge as a travel guide. Families will have fun exploring hands-on Discovery Stations and the Hike of the Day during the afternoon.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, families are invited to the ECO Kids Discovery Day: Survival Strategies. Kids can pretend to be animals and decide to migrate, hibernate or stay active to survive the cold months ahead during the On Your Own Challenge.

ECO Kids Pollywog Play Party
Pollywogs (infants to five-year-olds) are invited to the Education Center, on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10:30 a.m. – noon for a morning of discovery. Early learners will participate in Catching the Wind where they will discover the magic of wind, and experiment with air properties and movement by making colorful wind twirlers, experimenting with wind power, playing with balloons and much more.

Registration is required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512 or visiting The cost is $10 per child for Bernheim members and $15 for non-members. There is no fee for adults but they must accompany children.

First Sunday Nature Hike
Join a Volunteer Naturalist at the Visitor Center on Sunday, Nov. 3, from 2 – 3 p.m. for an engaging 45-60 minute nature walk exploring nature’s colorful transformation into fall. Registration is not required for this free event and all ages are welcome. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes.

Lunch & Learn: Autumn Trees from Top to Bottom
Nature wanderers can participate in Bernheim’s Lunch & Learn: Autumn Trees on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning at the Visitor Center. Travel into Bernheim’s natural forest to investigate trees as they begin their autumn transformation. You will visit the Canopy Tree Walk for a view from the tree tops, and then explore trees from a different perspective along Rock Run Trail.

Bernheim Lunch & Learn programs are designed for those who enjoy spending time outdoors in the company of other adults who love learning about nature. Each program includes a group introduction, a short, themed hike and a delicious lunch from Isaac’s Café.

Registration and payment are due by 4 p.m. on the day prior to start of program by calling (502) 955-8512 or visiting The cost is $15 for Bernheim members and $20 for non-members.

Seeds for Urban Play Conference
On Friday, Nov. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., nationally renowned speakers and workshops will address equitable access to safe and quality outdoor free play to support the health and wellbeing of all children. Speakers and presenters include Dr. Harrison Pinkney, of Clemson University, Courtney Gardner and Ben Dalbey, of Free for All Baltimore, Kristen Williams, Executive Director of Play Cousins Collective. This conference is intended for stakeholders in community-based organizations, parks and recreation, youth programming, healthcare, education, early childhood, public safety, urban planning and design, landscape architects as well as parents, residents and advocates for children, play and nature.

The conference will be held at the St. Stephen Family Life Center at 1508 W. Kentucky St. in Louisville. Registration Fees are offered on a sliding scale from zero to $50. Visit or call (502) 955-8512 to register.

Transit of Planet Mercury
On Monday, Nov. 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., observe the planet Mercury as it passes directly between the sun and earth in a rare occurrence that won’t happen again until 2032. Drop in anytime during the transit to chat with Naturalist Don Spain at the Visitor Center and use his handy telescope. There is no cost for this program.

Bernheim at Night
Bernheim at Night programs provide ample opportunities to marvel at the moon, ponder distant planets and be awed by the vastness of space. Something new yet ancient appears in the heavens and on earth with each turn of the seasons.

Full “Frost” Moon Hike
Visitors can experience Bernheim at night with a Full “Frost” Moon Hike on Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 7:45 – 9:45 p.m. Full Moon Hikes include a walk on Lake Nevin Loop, with plenty of stops to observe the night sky, discuss nocturnal happenings, and consider our cosmic connections. Night hikes keep to open trails and roads so that travel without flashlights is possible.

All Bernheim at Night programs are $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Groups meet at the Garden Pavilion unless otherwise noted in the event description. Registration and payment are required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the program. Visit or call (502) 955-8512 to register. Space is limited for events and pets are not allowed.

Forest Homeschool Hike: The FBI
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 1 – 2 p.m., Bernheim is taking homeschool to the woods. This school year, Bernheim is offering opportunities for homeschool families and co-ops to join Bernheim educators for an afternoon of learning, exercising and adventure. Appropriate for grades K-5, each Forest Homeschool Hike will include a short lesson at the Education Center Silo Stage followed by a hike that includes exploring forest floor soil layers, looking for evidence of the FBI (fungus, bacteria, invertebrates) and celebrating the decomposition that keeps life going.

The cost for Bernheim members is $5 a student and $7 a student for non-members. There is no fee for adults and children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit or call (502) 955-8512 to register.

Volunteer Orientation Training
Those interested in learning more about Bernheim’s volunteer program are invited to the Volunteer Orientation on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m to noon. Volunteers can give a few hours or several hundred hours, providing support to Bernheim and its visitors. While working throughout the forest or arboretum, volunteers can participate in a variety of activities, while having fun in the great outdoors. Reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information, visit or call (502) 955-8512.

Fall Fire Tower Hours
Experience fall’s beauty from atop Bernheim’s historical fire tower anytime 1 – 4 p.m. on weekends through the middle of November, depending on weather. Volunteer naturalists will guide you to one of the best views of fall foliage in the state.

Please note that Bernheim is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. Happy Thanksgiving!

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