Frankfort and the surrounding area offer many opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Kentucky River itself has long been a source of recreation, and boat docks on the river house recreational watercraft. Not far from Frankfort, the Elkhorn Creek is a popular site for canoeing and kayaking.
The city's Parks and Recreation Department operates nine parks, providing a variety of facilities for swimming, baseball, softball, football, golf, horse shoes, tennis, volleyball, basketball, hiking, picnicking, etc.:
- Capitol View Park
- Cove Spring Park
- Dolly Graham Park
- East Frankfort Park
- Juniper Hill Park
- Lakeview Park
- Leslie Morris Park at Fort Hill
- River View Park
- Todd Park in Bellepoint
Central Kentucky is home to an active bicycling community. The Bluegrass Cycling Club organizes group rides throughout central Kentucky from March through October every year, and also hosts the annual "Horsey Hundred" bicycle tour. From April through October, evening rides are organized every Tuesday and Thursday in Frankfort.
Frankfort's Capitol View Park has a network of approximately seven miles of mountain bike trails, which were built beginning in 1997 by local volunteers. The Kentucky Mountain Bike Association offers information on other mountain bike trails and activities throughout Kentucky.
The annual Bluegrass State Games competitions take place in central Kentucky; typically a number of the activities take place in Frankfort.