Family Fun Paddle on the Wolf River
Family Fun Day on the River
Germantown Parkway to Walnut Grove Rd, Memphis, TN.
Sunday, June 4, 2023
Arrival Time: 12:30 PM End Time: 5:00 PM (approx.)
Join us for the initial Family Fun Day of 2023 on the section of the Wolf River from Germantown Parkway to Walnut Grove Road. This is a surprisingly pleasant three-and-a-half-mile section of the Wolf River that parallels the Shelby Farm trails on River right, and the Wolf River Greenway on River left. The forests along the north bank consist of fully mature hardwood trees that conceal the hiking and biking trails of Shelby Farms. The south bank provides a lush buffer between the river and the commercial establishments along Wolf River and Humphrey Boulevard in the bustling communities of Germantown and Memphis, Tennessee. We will stop at various points during the trip to stretch our legs on the sandbars, play in the river and enjoy the company of others on the adventure.
The put-in at Germantown Parkway bridge is primitive but not very difficult to negotiate. Recent work in the area by the Wolf River Conservancy and Shelby Farms Conservancy has dramatically improved access. Prior paddle experience is not required, but paddlers must be old enough and be physically able and willing to paddle this section.
Air and water temperatures are expected to be hot and humid. Paddlers should wear quick dry clothing (no cotton, please) and come prepared to enjoy the coolness of the river water. Bring snacks, bug spray, and sunscreen for everyone, and ensure you have plenty of water for each person on the trip. A full liter per person would not be too much for this time of year. Be sure to protect every portion of your head and body from the hot Memphis afternoon sun during the entire duration of the trip. Minor children must be accompanied by a Parent(s) or legal guardian.
To assist with planning, please register early. Online registration will close at noon on Thursday, June 1. If this is your first trip or if you want to learn more about the Wolf River, please read the following documents under the paddling section of our website (wolfriver.org/paddling): “River Descriptions,” “Wolf River Access Map,” and “Safety Information.”
Your trip leaders will be certified Wolf River Conservancy River Guides, Mike Dawkins and Lee Gallagher. Assisting Mike and Lee will be other certified and in-training Conservancy River Guides to make the trip safe, enjoyable, and entertaining. If you have questions about the trip, please get in touch with Jim Gafford at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (901) 573-2353 or Jeff Sojourner at email@example.com or call/text (901) 573-6307. Both will be happy to discuss the particulars of the trip with you.
For Those Bringing Boats: You will meet the Trip Leader in Shelby Farms on the river’s northwest bank and Germantown Parkway. Turn west from Germantown Road into Gate 19 of Shelby Farms Park and continue along the Lucius Burch Trailhead road. As the road turns east, continue south onto the dirt and gravel road and under the transmission lines to the gravel parking area paralleling the river. The parking area is concealed from the road until the very last minute. If conditions are wet or rain is expected, park near the Trail Head paved road and port your boat to the put-in. Vehicle shuttles will be arranged both before the paddle and after. Arrive at the put-in by noon if you would like to shuttle your vehicle before the Walnut Grove boat ramp before the paddle.
For Those Renting Boats: You will meet the outfitter at their designated time (usually NLT 12:30) in the graveled parking area along Walnut Grove Road between the Wolf River and the BMX track. They will shuttle you and your personal items to the river put-in.
Parking Disclaimer: You should be able to leave your vehicle in the Put-in and Take-out parking areas, relatively safe environments, but Wolf River Conservancy cannot guarantee conditions during the launch. The Conservancy is not responsible for loss or damage to private property, on or off the water.
SAFETY and PFD Requirements: Participants in Wolf River Conservancy on-river programs are required to wear a US Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) while on the river. Children must wear child-size approved PFDs. If you are renting a craft, the outfitter will provide you with an approved PFD as part of the rental package. Those using boats provided by the Conservancy will also be supplied PFDs and paddles. There are no exceptions to the PFD requirements. Please note that they must also be securely fastened at all times. Please do not use the “belt type” units popular with the SUP community. These are single-discharge units and cannot easily be reloaded once deployed.
Section Launch Site Google Maps Link: 35°07’03.3 “N 89°48’08.6 “W
Section Take-out Site Google Maps Link: 35°08’05.2 “N 89°51’05.9” W