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Hiking at Meeman-Shelby State Park

Sign at Entrance of Meeman-Shelby State Park
Sign at Entrance of Meeman-Shelby State Park
Friends of Shelby Forest

Do you feel like going on a hike, but not sure where to go? You have many options in the Memphis area. One of those you should add to your must-do-list should be Meeman-Shelby State Park. Meeman-Shelby is located in northern Shelby County just outside the city limits of Millington, TN. The 13,000+ acre park has a network of trails of 20 miles in length.

One of visitors' favorite trails is the three-mile Woodland Trail. You start at the top of a bluff overlooking Riddick Creek, but as you enter the forest you will be surrounded by many different types of trees you'll want to stop and appreciate. As you walk you notice the various oaks, elms. and maples. You'll also see hickory, ash, and of course the official state tree of Tennessee, the Tulip Poplar.

The trees are beautiful and mesmerizing, but don't forget to also notice the vines which climb the trees. Muscadine vines grow way up in the tops of trees where the broad leaves can reach the sunshine. One of the vines you don't want to encounter is the dreaded Poison Ivy. Leaves of three, leave it be are words to live by in while hiking unless you want to have a miserable skin irritation later in the day. If you're pretty sure you've come in contact with some Poison Ivy scrub the area well with soapy water as soon as possible. This is lessen the level of discomfort. It might be a good idea to carry a bar of soap with you on the trail.

As you go further on the trail you'll come to the creek valley where you'll see all types of shrubs, mosses, and ferns of varying shades of green in the spring and summer. By the time you get to the southern edge of the ravines you might find your self a bit out of breath. It can be a workout for those of use who spend most of our days rather sedentary.

Remember you are in the South, and if you go hiking during warm weather the mosquitoes will want to go with you. Be sure and take any sprays or protective clothing which will protect you from slapping yourself silly before you reach the end of the hiking trail.

You should plan to take with you drinking water and possibly a snack for an energy boost. Also note there are no restroom facilities on the trail. Of course, please always remember you are visiting the homes of all types of wildlife. Be as respectful and you possibly can be to not disturb the creatures and their homes during your stay in the woods. They won't tell you, but they'll appreciate it.

If you'd like more information on this trial or other hiking trails at Meeman-Shelby State Park please contact the park offices at 901-876-5215.

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