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The first phase of the Shelby Farms Greenline opened in 2010 and helped inspire a new culture of biking and walking in Memphis. About 200,000 people now use the Greenline each year. As of June 2016, the trail runs 10.6 miles between Tillman Street in Binghampton (east of Midtown Memphis) and the Old Cordova Railroad Station.
The rail-trail, built on a former Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway line (and later CSX line), unfurls largely under a canopy of large oaks and other shade trees, making it pleasantly cool and green in summer. Dotted with wooden trestles over scenic wetland and riparian areas, and with few street crossings, deer, wild turkeys, armadillos and other wildlife occasionally wander through the hushed corridor.
Other parts of the route open up to residential neighborhoods, and the trail provides a vital transportation and social linkage through these communities, connecting them to each other and to parks and recreational amenities within the city.
A highlight of the route is Shelby Farms Park, one of America’s largest urban parks. At 4,500 acres, it offers just about every type of outdoor activity imaginable: horseback riding, ziplining, disc golf, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, nature trails, the fantastical Woodland Discovery Playground—even a herd of buffalo!
Another 2.3 miles of trail, in the planning stages as of 2016, will continue the trail even farther east from the Cordova depot to Lenow Road. As the route will pass a popular sports complex, several businesses and a new mixed-use development recently approved by the city, the new segment will add another valuable piece of connectivity for the community.
Access the trail where it crosses Tillman St., Highland St., High Point Terrace, Graham St., Waring Rd., Podesta St., Sycamore View Rd., Mullins Station Rd. and at Farm Rd. in Shelby Farms Park (between Mullins Station Road and Walnut Grove Road).
To get to the park, from the west, take I-240 to the Walnut Grove Exit and go east to the third stop light. The park is on both sides of the road. Turn left at the light. From the east follow Walnut Grove or Mullins Station until you see the signs for the park.
Trail pavement is in excellent condition except for a few tree roots. The half of the trail close to downtown is densely shaded, and gets dark early in the evening. No water or toilets unless you detour into Shelby Park.
No guide is needed as the trail is an old rail line and you can't get lost.
In brief, the trail quality and quantity are absolutely fabulous! However, the lack of directional signs is totally disgusting. Therefore I would give the trail quality five stars and one star for the lack of directional signs. If a person could navigate, they would have the time of their lives-bicycling That is!
Started at Tillman around 8 and did the entire trail out and back. Amazing scenery and wonderful smells. Flowers in full bloom and the birds singing. Flat and easy, don’t miss the trail if your in the area.
We ride this trail every time we visit our daughter at college. One can make this trail as long or short as one likes since it borders Shelby Farm Park which has other trails. We've found nice places to eat toward mid-town (favorite Cheffie's Cafe) and there's some places along North Germantown Pkwy on the other end. The new section is nice. Looking forward to riding The Big River Crossing over the Mississippi. It was opening the weekend after our last trip.
I drive from Kansas City, mo. to the Carolinas at least 3 times a year. I decided to take our bikes this year just to ride this trail. My husband thought I was crazy. it's 2 hours out if our way. it meant leaving kc early enough to ride from Tillman to Shelby farms and back before dark. I did my research, this trip is doable. The weather forecast leading up to our trip called for rain that entire week. I lived the next few days watching the weather channel. Monday morning at 4am we loaded up the bikes and headed for Memphis. We arrived to a beautiful, clear sky. The trail did not disappoint, it is gorgeous, well maintained. We saw many walkers, riders, all of them smiled at us. The trail has the right amount of shade trees for a hot day. Shelby Farms Greenline was also a great ride, we saw Bison, the lakes are nice. On the way back to our car it started to rain, we stopped under an overpass where we met a local rider who told us where to go for Memphis BBQ. Once back to our car we met a lady who rides the trail daily but walked today because of the rain. I can't rate this trail without rating the people we met. It was 5 star all around. We will definitely drive the 2 hours out of our way again.
Yes, Memphis has a very nice green-line trail. I go from my house near downtown Memphis to connect with the Greenline at Tillman Street - then it's a very nice 6.5 mile ride out to Shelby farms. It's shady and pretty flat most of the way - really great for an early morning ride! I deducted one star only because you have to stop a couple of times for cross streets. Great trail!
I started running just to try and get in better shape but I love running on the greenline and now I run 6 days a week along this beautiful path
Everyone I pass is so friendly and it really inspired me to keep going. I just wish we had more indoor tracks in this city for days when it rains.
This is a continuation of my Wolf River Greenway ride; I started south of Walnut Grove at the Farm Rd. parking lot across from the Shelby Farms (SF) entrance. There is a lot of construction currently, but I rode northeast going up N. Pine Lake Dr. until I ran into a small parking lot with a single large tree and picnic table or where N. Pine loops back onto itself. This is the east trailhead of the Shelby Farms Greenline (SFG), this trial is very linear. Stay left at the first “Y” and the first thing that you run into is a herd of buffalo, this will blow your mind. Riding down the meadow you will leave SF via crossing Mullins Station Rd. to hit the old rail bed. Riding west, you will pass the penal farm and a couple of industrial sites then hit an awesome bottom area (has to be unbelievable in autumn) with a couple of tussles. I saw some mountain bike trails below, Wolf River Trails. Continuing, you will ride under the “fly over”; I40 & I240 interchange and follow Sam Cooper Blvd. Afterwards, there a bench where an old train spur meets the trail with art work, for me this is the most memorable sight on the trail, don’t know why. The first residential street that you cross will be Waring Rd. where there is an ice cold water station slightly to the left, THANKS taproute! You will have a pleasant, shaded ride crossing a couple of residential streets until Tillman St. the turnaround the point. While returning to the trailhead, you can ride a loop by the small lake and SF’s Visitor’s Center, a great place to lunch. My overall ride in Memphis on the WRG & SFG totaled 42 miles and was thoroughly enjoyable and will be repeated, Great Job Memphis!
Nice trail, enjoyed riding it. Only had a bit of trouble locating the trailhead at Shelby Farms. More signage to the Greenline would be helpful. Also wish it was longer but I guess that will come in time.
Our walking group from Emmanuel Methodist Church walked a portion of the Greenline today. We met at the church and rode to the Podesta entry point and walked to High Point Terrace(about three miles) where we exited and walked a short distance to Cheffie's for lunch. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone should do this every week! Next week we are Walking for One for the Church Health Center.
I have lived in Memphis past 3 years all of it in apartments until 2 months ago we found a rental house on Chalmers. Being and avid biker I had been hearing about the Greenline trail and went past it more than once. I had a stop on Podesta one saturday and lo and behold, an entry point to Greenline was right down the block!!I finally got to ride it yesterday on my atb bike, so today I took the roadbike and it was a much quicker trip..I am hooked!! I have to find the offroad trail for mountain biking though.. Also want to explore Stanky Creek..
My husband and I are traveling cross country and riding on various bike trails along the way. I am a novice bicyclist and I found this trail to be scenic, easy and shady.
I had a very nice ride.
Rivers, lakes, ponds, flowers, birds, bridges, ducks, squirrels, Great Blue Herons, chipmunks, deer, bison, walkers, skaters, runners, and road, comfort, or mountain bikers......young kids to retired adults! I've been all over this SYSTEM of trails and I love it. Two days ago I did 52 miles by parking at the Shelby Farms Visitors Center to ride up to The Greenline. Did the Greenline down and back to Shelby Farms, continued around the rolling hills of the Chickasaw Trail, over to the pretty loop around Patriot Lake, down accross Walnut Grove via the well-done bike crossing light to the beautiful Wolf River Bike Bridge to the Wolf River Green Way connecting to the Germantown Green Way then back to the Visitors Center. Don't forget to take the short but fun River Bottom Loop off of the Wolf River Green Way. During all of this, the 3 or 4 busy streets crossed all had the push-button crossing lights, and I never had to ride on a city street or highway with automobiles. All of this was on clean paved trails. I'm proud that Memphis and Shelby County, have put all of this together, and they're still expanding. It's great!
I played up and down and on this line as a child when the trains were still using the tracks. Many a day was spent fishing under the bridge over the Wolf River and swimming in the "40 foot hole" (a swamp lake the train trestle goes over). It is a wonderful feeling to see this great route turned into a greenline for everyone to enjoy. It came along about the time the City of Memphis decided to turn a page and head down a path of fitness and exercise by adding bike lanes and more greenways all over the City and County. A true game changer. Larry Smith
OMG!! My sister and I have been planning for a couple of years to purchase bikes and ride trail for cardio purposes. I hate we waited so long to do so!! The Greenline is absolutely wonderful -well paved and well shaded. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and quite tranquil. I would like to see some resting spots (picnic tables, cafes) and restrooms near the trail as it expands.
Little over 6 miles of asphalt trail with more phases to come! Right around the 2.0 mile marker, at the end of the bridge over the wolf river bottoms is a whole lot more trails in the woods. Really cool! I don't know who to thank for it but, may that person or group of people will read this and know they made a person really happy and more healthy for it.
very nice and clean riding trails. road between wolf creek to shelby farms over 25 miles of riding area without traffic.
Absolutely wonderful trail. I rode it on my bike for the first time this past Sunday morning. There are some wonderful sights as there are bridges that take you over the Wolf River. Also, there are affordable bike rentals at Shelby Farms for people who don't want to purchase a bike. I will be visiting this trail quiote frequently from now on. I am also looking forwards to their expansion of the trail to the east as it will connect very close to my apartment.
Everyone in Memphis/Shelby County is so excited. Well, almost everyone -- the usual anti-cycling cranks are belly-aching. The first phase of this rail trail is getting lots of use by cyclists, runners, walkers, parents strolling their children, and people of all ages from different parts of the city and county. This paved rail trail starts in midtown Memphis and ends at Shelby Farms Park in east Memphis. It's wide, smooth and mostly shaded. This 6.5 mile trail connects with other paved walking/cycling trails in the park. It's possible to ride 25 paved miles round trip without riding on a street. We understand that parking will be added along the trail in the next phase of development. There will be something of a learning curve as people new to such trails learn how to share the trail, but for the most part, trail users and motorists at the street crossings have been friendly and considerate. Friends who have not ridden bikes in years are talking about buying bikes. We can't wait for further development of the trail to the east and downtown. There is also talk of developing trails on the local utility right-of-way. Marilynn & Bill Weedon
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