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Shelby County's Urban Trails: Exercise and Get Back to Nature

Gerry Glenn Jones appreciates the Southern landscape, including the trails and parks around Memphis.

V & E Greenline (Vollentine & Evergreen) is a park established on an abandoned railroad track in the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee

V & E Greenline (Vollentine & Evergreen) is a park established on an abandoned railroad track in the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee

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.

Riverbluff Walkway

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.

Memphis Riverfront "River Walk" park system along the Mississippi River Overlooking Tom Lee Park

Memphis Riverfront "River Walk" park system along the Mississippi River Overlooking Tom Lee Park

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
	 Wolf River Greenway, Memphis, Tennessee. The Greenway connects the Midtown to Shelby Farms Park Greenway and neighborhoods along Humphreys Boulevard. Wolf River Greenway Bridge

Wolf River Greenway, Memphis, Tennessee. The Greenway connects the Midtown to Shelby Farms Park Greenway and neighborhoods along Humphreys Boulevard. Wolf River Greenway Bridge

V&E Greenline

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.

Midtown to Shelby Farms Park Greenway, Memphis, Tennessee Crossing at Highland Street.

Midtown to Shelby Farms Park Greenway, Memphis, Tennessee Crossing at Highland Street.

Shelby Farms

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.

© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones

Comments

Gerry Glenn Jones (author) from Somerville, Tennessee on October 22, 2019:

Pamela, we have the ability to change where we are headed, but we must take the time to consider our actions and make the right decisions to ensure our descendants have what we have, or better. Going green and revitalizing resources is the answer.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 22, 2019:

Your pictures show some beautiful country. Many people love the trails and outdoors in general. This is a good article.

Gerry Glenn Jones (author) from Somerville, Tennessee on October 21, 2019:

Yes, Peggy, it is just a resource that needs development.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 21, 2019:

Thanks for showing us some of the trails in your area. They look and sound lovely. I think that it is a great idea to turn abandoned railroad lines into trails.