It has been said that it takes a village to build a rail-trail. In the case of the 1.7-mile V&E Greenline, the village in question is the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood. Banding together in the mid-1990s to transform the abandoned railroad corridor into a public green space, this Memphis community continues to maintain and improve the popular trail. During regular Spruce up the Greenline days, volunteers remove debris, rake leaves, plant trees and tend community gardens along this verdant route.
A perfect outlet for those seeking a quiet retreat from city life, the trail provides a safe haven for walkers, runners and cyclists. The route comprises eight contiguous sections: the Springs, the Cut, the Gardens, the Arbors, Lick Creek, Utility Park, West Creek and the West End.
From the east, the shady Springs segment runs between Springdale Street and Jackson Avenue, emerging from the tree canopy on the Cut, a sunken segment where native plants and invasive kudzu do battle.
Across McLean is the Gardens, where more than 30 flower varieties reach their colorful best between February and November. Stop and smell the flowers before continuing to the Arbors, which boasts 15 tree species. Volunteers transplanted many of the latter in July 2003 after hurricane-force winds destroyed hundreds of area trees.
Next in line, Lick Creek, Utility Park and West Creek center on manmade highlights. Adjacent to Auburndale and Evergreen streets, Lick Creek Bridge was built with local help by Keeler Iron Works to replace the original span, which was removed when the railroad stopped running.
Utility Park is an oak-dotted flat that borders a Memphis Light, Gas & Water pumping facility. West Creek Bridge runs behind the Woodmont Towers apartment complex, providing residents with easy trail access.
The route ends at Watkins Street and North Parkway in West End, where residential homes line flanking slopes. Take a stroll along this leafy oasis and you'll understand the parental pride of its urban keepers.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead at Watkins Street and North Parkway, take the I-40/I-240 Expressway to the North Parkway Exit and head west 4 blocks to its intersection with Watkins. Street parking is available.
To reach the trail's eastern end at Springdale Street, follow the above directions, turn left on Watkins and drive 4 blocks to Jackson Avenue. Turn right on Jackson, drive about 1.5 miles and turn left on Springdale. The trail access point is one block up. Street parking is available.
1680 Jackson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38107