Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

15 Ways to Experience Shelby Farms Park

Photo: Kristen Archer of ARCHd

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 $59.95. 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.
    • The newest addition to the Go Ape experience is the Tree Top Journey! This is the perfect introduction to aerial adventure and has no minimal age requirement.
    • Tree Top Discovery is the shortened version of the original TreeTop adventure and introduces you to longer zip-lines!
  • 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.
    • No bike? Not a problem! Rental bikes are available at Shelby Farms for both kids and adults. You can cruise through the paved trails of Shelby Farms or hit the Greenline.
  • 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.
    • Morning & Afternoon Sessions
      • 9:30 AM- 1:30PM
      • 2:00 PM-6:00 PM
  • Park After Dark

    • Enjoy the park after dark with special programs throughout the year! Take a look here for opportunities to stargaze, view constellations and star clusters.
  • Paddle

    • At Shelby Farms two biggest lakes, Hyde Lake and Pine Lake, people can rent canoes, kayaks (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
    • You can also bring your own boat to cruise the water! All non-motorized boats are allowed on lakes.
dog park at shelby farms park

Photo: Ava Conley

  •  Play

    1. On the playground
      • What is better than a playground designed for kids by kids? In 2015, 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
      • Any place in Shelby Farms is perfect for your pup! However, Shelby Farms offers 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. Find more information of off-leash dog parks here. 
    3. Laser Tag/Paintball/Arrow Tag
      •  Battlefront is the newest addition to Shelby Farms Park and offers paintball and a unique type of outdoor battlefield laser tag! All activities are played outside in a heavily wooded field and make for the fun afternoon or party event.
  • Make your own fun

    • With thousands of acres of open space, there are multiple locations all around the park to make your own fun. Try flying a kite on a windy day, laying out a blanket and soaking up the sun, or kicking around a soccer ball!
  • 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 January 1st through December 15th.
  • Ride a Horse

    • For as low as $25, guests can ride on horseback around Shelby Farms. Whether you are looking for lessons or a simple sunset ride, Shelby Farms Stables are here for you. 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

    • Coastal Fish Company sits on the edge of Hyde Lake and creates a beautiful dining experience. Indulge your taste buds with some of the freshest and best sourced seafood in town.  Go here for more info.
    • Cheffie’s offers delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches to satisfy that hunger after tackling the parks activities.
    • Food Trucks are in the park on Saturdays and Sunday at the Off-Leash Dog Park and the Woodland Discovery Playground. Check out the calendar here. 

Photo: Nathan Spencer

  • Disk Golf

    • Shelby Farms is home to a 18 hole disc golf course. 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

    • Starry Nights is one of the biggest celebrations and fundraisers for the park each year! Walk, bike, drive, or run through dazzling displays of festive fun. You can also volunteer to help with all the fun.
  •  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.
    • Hours:
      • Closed on Monday+Tuesday
      •  Wednesday-Sunday 11a-5p

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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