The Norfolk Southern Railroad runs right through the Parklands of Floyds Fork and it’s this particular trestle that gets quite a bit of attention.….
There are many legends in Kentucky, some more believed than others. For example, most wouldn’t argue with the haunted claims of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, but the idea of a “goat man” living under a train bridge sounds more like a fairy tale than a true story. However, some locals swear that this fantasy is actually very real and that is why the legend of the Pope Lick Monster continues around Louisville. The Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky is likely one of the best-known legends in our state, and also the most dangerous. While it’s fascinating to talk about, know that we do not recommend putting yourself in danger to see for yourself if this legend is true.
What appears as an active train bridge is actually a historic spot that’s been around since the 1800s. The bridge was built in the late 1800s and stands 90 feet above the creek and ground below. Trains do continue to frequent the bridge today. Ironically, this creepy legend takes place within the peaceful Parklands of Floyds Fork park system in Louisville.
There is a lovely trail that winds through the park and under the bridge. This is the best (and only!) way you should view this infamous bridge.
At first glance, the base of this bridge doesn’t seem all that scary.
But if you know the story, this place takes on a whole new meaning. For generations, locals have told a tale of a half goat, half man that lives here near the bridge. Some descriptions make the creature appear more like a sheep than a goat. The legend gives many origins to this goatman, one more crazy than the next.
Some say that the creature survived a circus train accident and this sideshow act managed to live on in the forest. Others say a farmer was a little too friendly with his goat, and still other storytellers describe a chemist who had an accident or a hermit who just lives in the woods. Since this story has been told so many times and over several generations, it was bound to become more exaggerated.
The description of this goatman is creepy enough, but it is said to lure people in with a familiar voice and then make sure they meet their demise. Sadly, there have been many deaths at this spot due to curious visitors trying to test out this legend and walk out on the trestle. The park does not advise this, and there are signs posted all over to stay off the bridge. If you are found on it, you will be prosecuted. Given the haunting nature of this legend, it’s no surprise that a haunted house was started to bring this story to life.
The Legend at Pope Lick Haunted Woods is a popular haunted trail in Louisville. If you’re already counting down the days to next year’s haunted house season, be sure to visit the Haunted Woods website. While it’s exciting to talk about these legends, remember that the Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky is best explored from the trail beneath the bridge.
Grab a friend and go for a walk and while you’re at it, tell the story of the Pope Lick Monster and see if he happens to show his goat-like face. The story of the Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky is not going anywhere any time soon. This creepy legend is definitely fascinating, but remember to stick to the paved path in the park if you want to see for yourself if this goat/sheep man really does exist.
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