Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is a beautiful 13,476-acre plot of land situated alongside the mighty Mississippi River. The park offers a host of outdoor activities among the hardwood forest—everything from camping and horseback riding to hiking and fishing can be found here. Speaking of the forest, these aren’t just any trees—you’ll be fishing among ten state champion trees and two national champion trees, so when you’re done catching fish, relax under a shade tree that’s likely to house a bald eagle or two.
What Makes It Great
There are two separate lakes to fish on in this park, so it’s pretty easy to make your adventure a weekend trip. When it comes to actually getting your line in the water, the larger, 100-acre Poplar Tree Lake is full of a variety of fish, as is the smaller Piersol Lake. At Poplar Tree Lake, you can fish from the bank or bring out your jon boat, canoe, or kayak (no electric motors allowed). You’ll find bass, bluegill, and catfish, along with the occasional largemouth bass here. At the 32-acre Piersol Lake, expect to find bass, bluegill and catfish.
There are six cabins in the park, all of which have two bedrooms and are conveniently located on the shoreline of Poplar Tree Lake, right where you’ll be doing a lot of your fishing. While there are only two distinct bedrooms, they sleep six people, so if you’re looking to have a fishing party, this is the spot.
Camping is also great in Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, for those who prefer to rough it and sleep under the stars after cooking the fish they caught over a campfire. The 49 sites are open year round (just like the fishing!) and you can make reservations up to a year in advance, so no need to worry about space if you’ve got plans to make.
Who is Going to Love It
Fishermen and women of all ages will like what they find here. If you’re the type that likes to make a weekend of it or enjoys splitting up fishing sessions with hikes or horseback rides, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park will suit you. Bird watchers will also be pleasantly surprised with the over 200 species of birds that make their home at the park.
Anyone visiting Memphis and looking for a dose of nature will love the proximity to the city—you can easily be in and out in a day!
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park is located at 910 Riddick Road in Millington, TN. It’s about 25-30 minutes from downtown Memphis.
Both lakes require a Tennessee Fishing License if you’re between the ages of 16 and 62.