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15 Ways to Experience Shelby Farms Park

Photo: Kristen Archer of ARCHd
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Photo: Kristen Archer of ARCHd

Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in the nation and one of the most unique spaces that Memphis has to offer. Have you been yet? Check out these 15 things that every Memphian should experience at Shelby Farms Park.

  • Go Ape!

    • All park visitors (ages 10+) can participate in the ziplines, swings, and climbing challenges. For children ages 10-15, the price is $38; for ages 16 and up, it costs $58. In addition, there are height and weight requirements. The course borders Pine Lake and takes 2-3 hours to complete. Reservations are required. Learn more here and book your spot online.
  • Hike

    • With more than 40 miles of trails (paved and unpaved) in the park, this was the perfect spot for a walk or run. To find the perfect trail for you go here.
  • Bike

    • The Shelby Farms Greenline runs all through the city and is currently growing. Once you hop on the Greenline and arrive at Shelby Farms Park, there are hundreds of acres to explore.
  • Splash

    • On a hot day, there is no better place for children to be than playing in the Water Play Sprayground. It is located next to Hyde Lake Boat House and for participants 10 and under. The sprayground includes spray jets, a water tunnel, and large rocks to run around. Children 0-3 are free; children ages 4-10 pay $5 for nonmembers and $4.50 for members. Tennessee residents get free admission on Wednesday from 1-7 pm. The wristbands are good for 50 minutes, and each session starts at the top of the hour. Visit their website for more information.
  • Sleepover

    • Shelby Farms has special events that give Memphians a chance to participate in something unique and fun. On August 11th, families have the opportunity to participate in the Park + Pajamas Family Sleepover at Shelby Farms. For more information, visit the facebook event page.
  • Paddle

    • At Shelby Farms two biggest lakes, Hyde Lake and Pine Lake, people can rent canoes, kayas (single and double), stand up paddle boards, peddle boats (2 and 4 seater), and canoes! Equipment can be rented from Hyde Lake from 9am-7pm everyday and Pine Lake from 1pm-5pm on Wednesday to Sunday. Please visit their website for more information.
    • Prices:
      1. Hyde Lake
        1. Canoe:$18/hour; Single kayak:$15/hour; Double kayak: $20/hour; Stand up paddleboard: $18/hour
      2. Pine Lake
        1. 2-seater Pedal Boat: $15; 4-seater (+1 child) Pedal Boat: $20; Canoe: $15; Single Kayak: $12; Double Kayak: $18
dog park at shelby farms park

Photo: Ava Conley

  •  Play

    1. On the playground
      • The Woodland Discovery Playground was selected as one of the “16th Coolest Playground in the World” by Mental Floss Magazine. The playground is opened from 9 am until one hour before sunset and has enough equipment and adventures for hours of fun for both kids and adults.
    2. With a dog
      • One of our Year One Writers, Ava, wrote that one of her favorite places in Memphis is the Outback at Shelby Farms. This is a dog park with more than 100 acres designed for dogs to play off-the-leash. Complete with lakes and trails, this is the perfect place for dogs to let loose from sunrise to sunset.
    3. Laser Tag/Paintball/Arrow Tag
      • With 10 acres of wooded land dedicated to these fun activities, there is an opportunity for everybody to play. Regardless of the skill level and ages, participants can prepare for an outdoor adventure with games operated by Battlefront Memphis.
  • Fly a Kite

    • With thousands of acres of open space, there are multiple locations all around the park perfect for a windy day and a kite.
  • BMX

    • At the USA BMX track at Shelby Farms, riders can do a 1 day free trial membership or join for up to a year. Upon arriving, you can purchase a USA BMX license. In addition, you can volunteer at the track. The track’s season runs March through November.
  • Ride a Horse

    • For as low as $25, guests can ride on horseback around Shelby Farms. This is available for guests ages 4 and up. For reservations call 901-647-5793 or go here.
  • Go Fish

    • With over 20 lakes in Shelby Farms, there is ample opportunity to fish for catfish, crappie, bream and largemouth bass as well as trout from December to January. Go here for more information on where to fish and Shelby Farms fishing rules.
old fashioned cocktail at the kitchen at shelby farms park

Old fashioned at The Kitchen Bistro, Shelby Farms Park, Photo: Amanda Hill

  • Eat/Drink

    • The Kitchen Bistro is a new restaurant located on Hyde Lake that opened in August 2016. With a gorgeous patio and private event space, it is the perfect place to grab a drink after work or a bite to eat. Go here for more info.

Photo: Nathan Spencer

  • Disk Golf

    • Recently mentioned as one of Memphis’ premier disk golf courses by Choose 901, this course with 19 holes is ready for novices and experts. Found at 6903 Great View Drive North, this scenic course is completely free and is includes water obstacles, woods, and wide-open fields. For more information, visit the course’s website.
starry nights at shelby farms park in memphis

Photo: Steven Ward

  • Starry Nights

    • While it may not start until November 24th this year, it is a cannot miss for the whole family. Starry Nights is the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South.  It’s also the longest running celebration at Shelby Farms Park.  The magic of the holidays is brought to life through twinkling light displays, cozy campfires and visits with Santa.
  •  Shop

    • The Lake’s Edge Gift Shop is home to local Memphis goods and Shelby Farms gear and is the perfect place to start or end a day at Shelby Farms. It is opened from 10am-6pm every day, and it opens at 9 am on Saturdays. For more info go here.

Don’t forget you can explore the park to a greater extent by becoming a member!

Memberships are available to Shelby Farms Park that gives members the opportunity to use discounts, special pricing, and exclusive offers. Memberships start for as low as $35 and are tax deductible donations to the Park. Go here for more info.

Go here for upcoming events and go here to learn about the park’s first music festival!

For more information and details on how to explore Shelby Farms and take advantage of the over 4,500 acre park in the middle of Memphis, visit their website and Facebook page.

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