Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, offer a variety of natural parks and outdoor recreational areas for residents and visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the notable nature parks in the area:
- Shelby Farms Park: Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, covering over 4,500 acres. It features lakes, forests, wetlands, and open spaces. Visitors can explore numerous hiking and biking trails, go boating or paddleboarding on the lakes, and enjoy picnics. The park also offers activities like horseback riding and playgrounds, making it a great destination for families.
- T.O. Fuller State Park: Located in southwest Memphis, T.O. Fuller State Park is a 1,138-acre park offering a mix of outdoor activities. It features a golf course, swimming pool, and a nature center where visitors can learn about the local flora and fauna. The park also has hiking and picnicking areas.
- Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park: This state park is located about 20 miles north of downtown Memphis and covers nearly 13,500 acres. It offers hiking and equestrian trails, a disc golf course, and access to the Mississippi River. Meeman-Shelby Forest is known for its scenic beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Lichterman Nature Center: The Lichterman Nature Center is a 65-acre urban nature sanctuary located within Memphis. It offers a diverse range of habitats, including hardwood forests, meadows, and a lake. Visitors can explore a network of trails and enjoy educational programs on wildlife and conservation.
- Herb Parsons Lake and Wildlife Management Area: This area is popular among anglers and hunters, as it provides a 177-acre lake for fishing and waterfowl hunting. There are also hiking trails and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation.
- Mississippi River Park: Stretching along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, this park offers picturesque views of the river and downtown Memphis. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll, picnics, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the river.
- Mud Island River Park: Mud Island is an entertainment and park complex on the Mississippi River. While it’s primarily known for its Riverwalk model, which showcases the entire length of the Mississippi River, the park also includes scenic gardens and outdoor spaces for relaxation.
- Overton Park: While primarily an urban park in the heart of Memphis, Overton Park features beautiful green spaces, including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Memphis Zoo. The park provides a welcome respite in the city and is a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks.
These nature parks and outdoor spaces offer a diverse range of recreational opportunities, from hiking and birdwatching to picnicking and wildlife observation, providing a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee.