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380 Shelby Farms Park 2011-04-22

Shelby Farms Park Visitor Center

Last Friday, Jake, the dog, and I visited Shelby Farms Park Conservancy in Memphis, TN. We had about six hours to spend and wanted to make the most of our visit.

The weather had been rainy and stormy. Large puddles of water helped me decide where we were going to walk that day. We would try to hike the paved paths and hopefully return to walk the 6 mile multi-use Tour de Wolf Trail at a later date.

As we entered the Park there were bison. I thought it was a huge herd, especially for Memphis! Continuing we stopped at the Visitor Center for a map. All the workers were bustling about getting ready for a fund raising event over the weekend; but I was able to find a map at an unattended visitor's desk.

To first get a taste of the Park we drove up the hill to some of the central locations. The Park was unlike any we have in Nashville. From a curious visitor's point of view, it was a park and farm combined. The hilly land had trees, shelters, playgrounds, and trails whereas some of the low lands were still being farmed.

Returning to the Visitor Center, we parked and began our walk. We walked the Chickasaw Trail a 2.75 mile curvy tour of the center of the Park. Next, we walked the 1.65 mile path around Patriot Lake. Finally we repeated part of the Chickasaw Trail and went to see the start of the new Greenline Greenway. The Greenline Connector was 1.5 miles in each direction. I did not notice the path to Wolf River or we would have done it also. We walked a total of 7.40 miles, using their distances.

The Park was well used. We saw quite a few walkers, runners, bikers, fishermen, etc.

A few Shelby Farm Park notes ...

One reason I chose to visit the Park was that it was centrally located. From I-40 go south on 240 to the first exit, go east on Walnut Grove Road toward Germantown. The Park is on the left in a few miles.

I wished that I could have walked the dirt multi-purpose trail. My wife and a friend both commented about the mountain bike races that are held on that trail in the Park.

The Woodland Discovery Playground was a brand new facility. The modular design was quite interesting. Definitely worth a visit if you have children.

There were several lakes throughout the Park, each had at least one fisherman.

The Chickasaw Trail is at least partly shaded. The Patriot Lake Trail and the Greenline Connector would be hot in the summer.

There was a lot of litter on the ground. Surprisingly, there was also a lot of litter around the new critter proof trash cans. I could not figure out why.

Restrooms and water were available at the Visitor Center and at the new Woodland Discovery Playground.

Dogs are allowed on the paths. They must be on a leash and pick up the poop.

The Park also has a "Dog off Leash" area; but we did not visit it.

Other areas were designated for kite flying, paddle boating and canoeing, disc golf, and horses.

The Park did not have team sport fields.

The farm is really big, 4,500 acres. (Wikipedia)

If you are visiting the Memphis area and want to stretch your legs, visit the Shelby Farms Park. Kids will love the new playground and runners, walkers, and bicyclist will enjoy the easy trails.

Happy Shelby Farms Park trails


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