For visitors more interested in the outdoors or who want to combine music with their outdoor recreation, there are opportunities to enjoy west Tennessee’s natural beauty. The Greater Memphis Greenline trail network connects various neighborhoods by converting unused railways into multiuse trails for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.
Linked to the Greenline is Shelby Farms Park in East Memphis. Shelby Farms Park contains 4,500 acres of green space with 6.5 miles of trails.
The Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge is a new amenity at Shelby Farms Park that connects trail systems in the park with the Wolf River Greenway and adjacent neighborhoods.
Meeman-Shelby State Park is northwest of the city. It has two large fishing and boating lakes, a state wildlife management area for wildlife viewing, and hunting of a variety of small and large game.
Reelfoot Lake State Park is in the northwest part of the state, about a two-hour drive from Memphis. It’s known as Earthquake Lake because of the 7.5 to 7.7 seismic shocks that occurred from December 1811 until February 1812 along the New Madrid Fault.
Reelfoot Lake covers approximately 18,000 acres and harbors almost every kind of shore and wading bird, as well as golden and American bald eagles. The lake’s shallow waters are recognized as one of the world’s greatest natural fish hatcheries. Among the 50 species of fish that call Reelfoot Lake home are largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and crappie. During the summer months, American lotus aquatic plants cover hundreds of acres on the north and east side of the lake, making it a perfect place for canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching.
A self-guided auto route is one of my favorite parts of a visit to Reelfoot. The visitor center has information on the loop and other park attractions.
Reelfoot Lake State Park
2595 Highway 21E
Park office: (731) 253-8003
Eagle tours: (731) 253-9652