Shelby County's Urban Trails: Exercise and Get Back to Nature
Getting Back to Nature
A big push to turn abandoned rail lines into trails has taken hold in the United States, and Memphis has taken advantage of the resources available to them through partnerships with the federal government and other organizations to build some wonderful greenways and walking trails.
Memphis and Shelby County are unique in many ways, but one of their highest goals has been to turn these railways into trails, which extend throughout some of the most scenic parts of the city and county.
Come join us now as we travel these trails.
This 1.2-mile walkway runs along Chickasaw Bluff and crosses the Mississippi River on the Harahan Bridge. The view from the bridge is outstanding, as is the one from the edge of the bluffs, where you get a full panorama of the Mississippi River between its two Memphis bridges.
The MATA Trolley Line can be accessed from the Riverbluff Walkway.
Wolf River Greenway
Wolf River Greenway, in Memphis, Tennessee, connects the Midtown to Shelby Farms Park Greenway and neighborhoods along Humphreys Boulevard.
This greenway runs somewhat parallel to the scenic Wolf River and is a wonderful location for families to gather for exercise and fellowship with nature. There are some restrictions on the greenway. They are:
- No motorized vehicles
- Runners, walkers, cyclists, and hikers are all welcome
- Yielding is very important as there are other entrances that enter throughout different sections of the Trail
- Dogs must be on a leash
- No fishing or swimming is allowed in any bodies of water
- Horseback riding is prohibited
Another rail-trail project is the 1.7-mile V&E Greenline, named after the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood, which was responsible for creating this unique trail. The people of the neighborhood worked together to see this project come together, and they still work together, maintaining it.
The trail has eight connecting sections: the Springs, the Cut, the Gardens, the Arbors, Lick Creek, Utility Park, West Creek and the West End.
Shelby Farms Greenline Trail
The Shelby Farms Greenline Trail has an asphalt surface, which runs for nearly 7 miles between Tillman Street in Binghampton (east of Midtown Memphis) and Farm Road in Shelby Farms. The Greenline is built on the bed of a former CSX Railroad line, which was abandoned in 2001.
The route of the trail takes you over wooden trestles, through wooded areas, as well as over wetlands where an abundance of wildlife can be seen. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset and night-time use is prohibited.
At the eastern terminus of Shelby Farms Greenline is, of course, Shelby Farms. This huge park is more than five times the size of Central Park in New York.
The park covers 4,500 acres and is the home to a variety of wildlife, including bison. Also, there are numerous lakes in Shelby Farms, where fishing and boating are allowed.
Inside the park you'll find many trails for walking, running, and biking. In addition, it's the home of the Agricenter International, and has numerous events throughout the year, including "Starry Nights," an enormous display of lights during the Christmas season.
Enough Exercise for One Day
Even though we have busy schedules, we should all get out into nature and enjoy the walking and biking trails in Shelby County, Tennessee.
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© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones