Locals love to tout Memphis’ grit as part of its charm. And sure, the city is a little rough around the edges with graffiti and blight. But Memphis is also known for its impressive tree canopy, its gorgeous views of the Mississippi and Wolf Rivers, and its wooded, hilly river bluffs. Take a run on one of these paths for a prime view of the Bluff City’s true allure.
This 1.7-mile gravel path runs through the Vollintine Evergreen neighborhood along an abandoned rail track. The route takes runners (and the occasional cyclist, although the rough terrain isn’t good for street bikes and cruisers) behind historic homes and over two bridge crossings at Lick Creek. Along the route, a large, volunteer-maintained flower garden and plenty of public art (fish sculptures, large cartoon-like people with planters on their heads, a musical bench) help take runners’ minds off working out. Portions of the trail are completely covered by a canopy of trees, offering a respite from Memphis’ scorching summer heat. Bonus: there’s a working water fountain near the midway point.