Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

A Local’s Guide to the Great Outdoors

Photo: Connor D Ryan

When the sun is out, so are we—and our outdoor spaces are where you need to be! Walk it. Bike it. Blade it. Skate it. Get the most out of the city that made it.

Check out our list of ways to enjoy Memphis’s outdoor spaces, and let us know your favorites in the comments.

On the Water

  • Kayak Memphis in the Mississippi River Harbor– Cruise the current of the Mississippi River via this self-service kayak rental system made available by The 4th Cup coffee shop in River Garden Park. Group and guided tours are also available via reservation
  • Shelby Farms Park– Get up close and personal with the Hyde Lake and Pine Lake at Shelby Farms Park. There are paddleboats, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes made available as your vehicle for water exploration.
    • SUP Yoga or Paddleboard Yoga classes are also offered at Shelby Farms via SUP901.
  • Blues City Kayaks– We bet you never thought you’d see so much of Memphis from the water! The Wolf River flows all throughout the city limits, and then some—and Blues City Kayaks offers 5 different tours that’ll take you places you’ve never seen.
  • Ghost River Rentals (Moscow, TN)- It’s about an hour drive from Midtown or Downtown Memphis, but man is it cool. Once you’ve ‘yakked or canoed the Ghost River section, you’ll REALLY understand the meaning behind the OG Ghost River branding.

  • You can also take quick day trips to Spring River in Hardy, Arkansas, and the Buffalo River in Waynesboro, TN. Either spot is a very doable day trip from the M!

Disc golf

  • Shelby Farms Park Disc Golf Course – This course has 18 holes and many of them are pretty long distances compared to your average course.
  • Shelby Forest – This park in Millington is a staple for many in the Disc Golf Community.
  • Johnson Road Park (Germantown) –  A fun course that’s “mostly flat and moderately wooded” but fair warning: It is the only place one of our staff members has lost discs. A separate, fun outdoors adventure would be trying to retrieve the discs lost in the water traps here!
  • Sea Isle Park – The new kid in town with 18 holes that are very welcoming to all abilities.
  • Bud Hill – A Memphis gem, this course is also private, so note that you might have to reach out via email to receive permission to play.

Biking  

  • Shelby Farms Greenline – Boasting well over 10 miles of beautiful paved bike trails, this is the “bread and butter” of biking in Memphis.
  • Hampline – Pedestrians have really gotten an upgrade on Tillman connecting Broad Avenue to the Greenline!
  • Big River Crossing – There is something for everyone on this mile-long bridge to the Natural State. From beautiful skyline vistas to photo ops, it’s an easy distance to bike and feel good about yourself. Or,  if you want to absolutely crush it, take on the 70 miles of the Big River Trail.
  • Wolf River Greenway – This 26-mile paved pedestrian pathway will eventually extend a total of 36 miles to connect neighborhoods all the way from the north end of Mud Island, in downtown Memphis, through the neighborhoods of north central Memphis, connecting to Shelby Farms and then to the cities of Germantown and Collierville, Tennessee.
  • BIKE LANES have been popping up across the city!!! Ride on, and make sure to wear that helmet.

Running

  • Wolf River Greenway – This is a really nice trail that takes you over and alongside the Wolf River. The best part of the Greenway is that you can take many different trails and never run the same route more than once.
  • Shelby Farms Park – There are tons of options for running trails in Shelby Farms. You can enjoy beautiful mornings on the Hyde Lake (2.3 Miles) loop watching the sunrise and deer, or try the Dunnavant Trail that takes you from the Wolf River Bridge to the Shelby Farms Greenline. We highly recommend the “Tour De Wolf,” a nearly 6 mile course that is unpaved. If you’re bad and training for long distances, this is a great spot to do an out and back route!
  • Overton Park – Overton has a two-mile figure 8 loop that you can add, subtract, or differentiate with paved or unpaved trails.
  • Tom Lee Park & Big River Crossing – “I get bored of the Mighty Mississippi,” said nobody ever. (Check out the plans for the Tom Lee Park “facelift” here.)

Rucking

  • You may have to check out this past story about the BrewRuck events to learn more about what rucking actually is, but it’s essentially walking with weight! The Ruck Memphis group meets for weekly social rucks aka exercise + beer.

Playtime in the Park

These parks may not be in your zip code, but they are definitely worth checking out for your next afternoon run, weekend picnic or morning playdate:

  • Audubon Park
  • Cameron Brown Park
  • Central Park
  • Chickasaw Heritage Park
  • David Carnes Park/Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Place
  • Gaisman Park
  • H.W. Cox Park
  • Memphis River Parks
  • Overton Park
  • Peabody Park
  • Sea Isle Park & Dog Park

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What have we left out that you like to do? Fishing? Rollerblading? Unicycling?

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