marvelous memphis: shelby farms park.

shelby farms is one of my favorite spots in memphis, and i wanted to make sure it got some love and attention on this blog before i leave. i’ve posted before about urban hiking and starry nights at shelby farms, but i figured it would be good to have one post with all of my favorite things.

all the trails.

shelby farms is one of the largest urban parks in the country, and there is no shortage of walking, running, biking, and hiking trails. there are both paved and unpaved options depending on what you’re after and distances of all lengths, so there’s something for everyone. my favorites are listed below, and in addition to these the park also connects to sections of the wolf river greenway, allowing access to even more options.

sundays at shelby farms. memphis, tennessee. october 2018.

hyde lake.

probably my favorite loop is the path that encircles hyde lake. it’s almost exactly 2.5 miles around and is great for a walk with a friend. i used to do early morning runs there when i lived with my parents, and i appreciate that even though it is so close to walnut grove the levee provides a great noise barrier. it’s not shaded, though, so make sure you plan accordingly if it’s a sunny day.

longest run in a long time. memphis, tennessee. september 2016.

the greenline.

what a fantastic addition to our city this has been! the greenline is a path that runs from tillman street in midtown all the way to cordova, turning an old unused rail line into a path currently 10 miles long and continuing to grow. it’s a great shaded path that i utilized a ton when i was training for my first half marathon because it is perfect for those longer distances. it gets pretty crowded on weekend mornings, but if you time it right it can be really peaceful.

chickasaw trail. memphis, tennessee. may 2018.

chickasaw trail.

this 2.75 mile trail that starts at the visitors’ center is a great paved loop that takes you through the northern part of the park. you pass by the fantastic playground, walk through some open space, and curve around through the buffalo spaces. it’s not super strenuous but does have some inclines that will make you feel the workout.

starry nights. memphis, tennessee. december 2020.

starry nights.

i’ve written a separate post about starry nights so i’ll keep this brief, but i love this annual tradition of driving through all the light displays during the holidays. my family have all become fans as well, so i do my best to take them each year as our schedules allow. it’s fun to see the creative designs, and it’s great to get you into the holiday mood. the ticket isn’t cheap, but if you’re able to afford it i think it’s worth it.

the festivals.

all of our festivals have been put on hold for the moment, but in the past i have enjoyed both the down to earth festival and the mempho music festival held at shelby farms. the space there is perfect to host festivals because there is plenty of room to spread out, and i especially love at mempho that they have shuttles running between the parking area and the festival entrance. the combination of a beautiful day and a festival at shelby farms is pretty fantastic.

the outback.

i don’t have a dog of my own, but i still love the outback, shelby farms’ giant dog park. when lena was an infant, i would often meet walker at the outback — we would stroll with lena in her carrier, and bailey could romp around and splash through the ponds to her heart’s content. i’ve had many a play date with friends’ dogs at the outback, and i love it.

this is only the tip of the iceberg and doesn’t include all of the amenities shelby farms offers that i have yet to try, including kayak rentals and the go ape adventure course. shelby farms really is such a gem in our city, and i am so grateful for it. but don’t take my word for it; go check it out for yourself.


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