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Photo: Great American River Run

The Ultimate Guide to Running in Memphis

If you’ve lived here long enough, you know that Memphis is full of beautiful landscapes and natural trails that will have you wanting to ditch the treadmill and enjoy the fresh air.

Running doesn’t have to be boring. Here are some the top places to run in the 901 if you’re looking for a change in scenery or a new spot to prepare for those upcoming races: 

Shelby Farms Park:

Shelby Farms boasts over 40 miles of trails that include views of lakes, rolling hills, and even the park’s famous buffalo. 

Shelby Farms Greenline:

Check out the “rails-to-trails” project that connects Midtown Memphis to Cordova. 

Vollintine Evergreen Greenline:

This gorgeous trail is privately funded, and it’s also the perfect place to run your dog!

Overton Park:

If you haven’t run in Overton, you haven’t run in Memphis. Memphians love the Old Forest Loop and you can find them training year round here. 

Wolf River Greenway Trail:

This run by the Wolf River currently includes over 26 miles of paved trails, but the trail is still expanding.

Two people biking on a bridge over a river, enjoying the Great Outdoors on Memphis Trails.
Photo: Big River Crossing

Riverwalk & Big River Crossing:

Just trust us and know that you don’t want to miss this one. The Big River Crossing connects Memphis to Arkansas and the view of the Mighty Mississippi is as majestic as you’re imagining.

A man standing in front of a sign that says to Memphis state park.
Photo @sethmilesking

This state park offers a unique running experience with its natural terrain and scenic views. It’s a great spot for those who enjoy trail running and want to experience a bit of nature within the city limits.

Harbor Town Island:

Run right by the Mississippi River in Harbor Town and take in some of the most stunning Memphis views the city has to offer.

That should be enough to get you rolling (or literally running for years), but you can also create your own route by exploring Downtown Memphis!

If you are a beginner and need a couple of accountability buddies, join in on one of Memphis Runners Track Clubs or Breakaway Running’s free weekly group runs. If you want to do some socializing while you’re at it, check out Salty Dogs Running Group, Memphis Hash House Harriers, Black Men Run Memphis, and Black Girls Run Memphis. You can also check out Crosstown Running Crew for a casual monthly running meetup. 

Now that you know where to run and have pals to run with, it’s time to get you set up with the proper gear. Unless you plan on getting shin splints from those worn out Converse you call “running shoes,” we suggest making your way to Memphis Fleet Feet Sports or Breakaway Running to pick up the perfect fit. 

You’ve got your gear and you’re all trained up. Why not challenge yourself by competing in a race? Memphis has a ton of them throughout the year and many of them are linked to local philanthropic efforts. 

Find them on the Choose901 Events Calendar

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