Short Hikes and Nature Walks

Short Hikes along the Wolf River

Kennedy Park

Located at 4575 Raleigh LaGrange Rd., Kennedy Park is one of the largest parks in Memphis with 260 acres.  A 1.25 mile trail winds through big trees, a brushy clearing, and along the Wolf River.  It is best to enter and exit from the trailhead down the hill from the health center parking lot, avoiding the parking lot at the end.

For a map of John F. Kennedy Park, click here.

 

The Wolf River Greenway, Memphis

The first two sections of the Memphis portion of Wolf River Greenway trail is very popular with walkers and bikers and connects to the Germantown Greenway.  A pedestrian bridge connects the existing 2.7 mile Wolf River Greenway trail to Shelby Farms Park, the Shelby Farms Greenline via the South Connector, and the Lucius Burch Natural Area trails on the opposite side of the river.  A 1.1 mile loop of the Wolf River Greenway has been certified as a Level I Arboretum (see link below).  Access the trail from Walnut Grove Rd. and Humphreys, Shady Grove Rd. and Humphreys, 6324 Humphreys Blvd (trailhead parking), or from the Germantown Greenway.

For a Wolf River Greenway map, click here. 

The Wolf River Greenway Arboretum

For information and updates on the Wolf River Greenway Project, click here.


Lucius Burch State Natural Area

Lucius Burch SNA is located in Shelby Farms along the Wolf River and is most easily accessed from Walnut Grove Road near the bridge over the river. The northern section can also be accessed on foot or bike via the Shelby Farms Greenline, Unpaved hiking and biking trails afford good river views, and  gullies and exotic invasive plants, such as privet, illustrate some of the effects of channelization and urbanization. The Shelby Farms Park Visitor Center at Patriot Lake off Farm Rd. can provide more detailed information.  For a complete description and a map, please click here.


Germantown Greenway and Wolf River Nature Area

The Germantown Greenway is a 2-mile paved trail in the Wolf River Nature Area, which can be accessed from Humphreys Blvd. between Kirby and Riverdale,  between Riverdale and Germantown Pkwy., or from Germantown Pkwy. at Chik-Fil-A or the Wal-Mart parking lot. The trail includes interpretive signs, benches, butterfly gardens, and wetlands. Thanks to the efforts of WRC and community leaders, the Germantown Greenway now connects to the Wolf River Greenway.  One day there will be a continuous trail extending 15 miles west to the Mississippi River and 15 miles east to Collierville-Arlington Rd. 

For a map of the Wolf River Nature Area, please click here.

 

Riverwoods State Natural Area, Germantown

 The trailhead for this unpaved, 2-mile trail with river views is located on Wolf River Blvd. just east of Germantown Pkwy. Look for the kiosk next to a gravel parking lot. For a complete description and a map, click here.

 

Overton Park and old forest state Natural Area, Memphis, TN

Overton Park is an amazing ecological refuge within the heart of Memphis and lies within the Wolf River watershed.  Enjoy old growth hardwood forest on the many paved and unpaved trails within the park and natural area. Overton Park Conservancy stewards and manages this park in partnership with city of Memphis.  DIRECTIONS:  From the east, follow Sam Cooper Blvd westward to East Parkway, where you can park by a playground and pavilion. Or access the park in two locations off Poplar Avenue (near Cooper Street and at Tucker Street).  For more information on the park and Overton Park Conservancy, visit overtonpark.org


Peterson Lake Nature Center at W.C. Johnson Park, Collierville

Peterson Lake Nature Center encompasses a 0.7 mile long boardwalk from Peterson Lake, a natural oxbow,  through forest and wetlands to the banks of the Wolf River. At the end of the boardwalk, you can see part of the Wolf River restoration project, i.e., one of the  rip-rap weirs created by the U.S. Corps of Engineers to stop the degradation of the river caused by channelization. Deer and other wildlife are frequently seen along the boardwalk, and there are abundant cypress, tupelo, and other trees. To get to Johnson Park, follow Bill Morris Pkwy. (385) to Byhalia Rd., go left or north, and stay on Byhalia Rd. which will dead-end at Johnson Park.  Keep driving past the play areas and the lake. The road makes a small loop and becomes a parking lot.  Look for the Peterson Lake Nature Center sign and the beginning of the boardwalk. 

For more information, visit the Collierville Parks website

For a map of Johnson Park, click here.

 

Wolf River Wildlife Area, Collierville

Collierville’s newest park contains over 2,000 acres of woods and wetlands along both sides of the Wolf River. The 5-mile crushed limestone trail is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk and can be accessed at the Collierville-Arlington Rd. bridge where there is a gravel parking lot on the north side of the river. The park can be accessed at its western end from Bethany Rd. Eventually, the trail will extend for 8 miles to Houston-Levee Rd. The farm fields north of the woods are now open for hiking and biking. The map below shows a trail on the farm roads. There are two parking areas off Collierville-Arlington Rd.,one on the north side of the bridge, and one farther north at the main trailhead. On the map, TR-1,2,4,5,6 all represent the tributary weirs. There is no hunting and no ATV (four-wheeler) use allowed.  Day-use only. The County sheriff’s deputies have begun checking the parking areas after dark.   

Wolf River Wildlife Area Map

 

William B. Clark Preserve

Take Hwy 57 east 6 miles past Collierville and turn left or north on Route 194 in Rossville.  The entrance to the Clark Preserve is .25 miles north of the Wolf River Café and Rossville Square. Go over the bridge and turn into the parking lot on your right. A short unpaved trail along the Wolf River leads from the parking lot to a boardwalk through a first-class wetland with tupelo and cypress trees. The Clark Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy.  For a complete description and a map, click here.

Clark Preserve information from The Nature Conservancy.

 

Bateman Bridge, Moscow

This boat ramp at Bateman Bridge offers access to the Wolf River. There is no trail, but wading is possible here because the bottom of the river is sandy and the river is usually fairly shallow. Shoes are recommended. Take Hwy 57 east through Moscow and take a right onto Bateman Rd., just over the top of a hill. Follow the road downhill and turn left into the parking lot before the bridge.                                                                                                                          

 Moscow, TN, and Bateman Bridge Map 

 

Mineral Slough Boardwalk, Ghost River State Natural Area, LaGrange

 Take Hwy 57 east to LaGrange. Turn right or south onto Main St. at the General Store. This road becomes Yager Rd. Drive 1.5 miles, passing the boat ramp and crossing the bridge over the  Wolf River, and turn right onto Beasley Rd.  Drive 1.3 miles to the trailhead on your right.  Look for a gravel parking lot on your left. The 0.5 mile Mineral Slough trail and boardwalk traverses a fine stretch of bottomland hardwood swamp characteristic of the Wolf River floodplain. The Ghost River is a section of the Wolf River in which the river seems to disappear, widening into a broad, vegetation-filled swamp. It is a popular destination for paddlers and has been named one of the best wetland canoe trails in the country. To read a complete description and for a map, click here.

 

Baker's Pond, Holly Springs National Forest, Mississippi

This is a beautiful hike to the source of the Wolf River, a large spring-fed pond about .25 miles from the trailhead, in the hills of Benton County, Mississippi. Look for natural springs trickling out of the earth and the unique purple sands along the stairs on the trail.  DIRECTIONS:  Exit Bill Morris Pkwy. (Hwy 385) at Hwy 72 and turn right or south. Go 37 miles on Hwy 72 to Tower Rd. in Benton Co., MS. That’s about 20 miles past the junction of 72 with MS Hwy 7 (TN Hwy 18) and 9.5 miles past the Citgo Station at the junction of Hwy 72 and Hwy 5.  If you cross the Tippah County line, you've gone too far. Turn right or south at the small brown sign for Baker's Pond onto Tower Rd., which has no road sign, and bear right where the road forks. Look for the Baker’s Pond trailhead parking area on the left.                                                                                                                                       

Baker's Pond Map

Baker's Pond Photos