Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park - Hiking

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If you’re in Memphis and want an escape from the city without going too far, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is just 25 minutes from the city and has more than 20 miles of trails.

Written by

Cinnamon Janzer


20.0 miles

There are 20 miles of trails at the park, ranging from 3.5 miles to 8.5 miles long.

Destination Distance From Downtown

13.4 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Most of the trails are moderate and one falls into the easy category.

Time To Complete

2 hours

With trails from 3.5-8.5 miles, you can spend an hour or several hours exploring the park.


All Seasons

The park is open from 7 am to 10 pm daily.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits




Whether you like natural trails that make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere or you prefer to keep it on the pavement, there’s something for every kind of hiker at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. The park has five separate trails that range in length from 3.5 miles to 8.5 miles in length and from easy to moderate in difficulty. Perhaps one of the best things is that you’re completely in charge of your own adventure in the park—you can hike all day, chill by a lake, or fish to your heart’s content, all in the same place.

What Makes It Great

The five trails at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park cover more than 20 miles, and they all stick around the major areas and roads of the parks. There are three natural surface trails: the Woodland Trail (3.5 miles), Chickasaw Trail (8.0 miles), and the Pioneer Springs Trail (4.0 miles). Though they are rated moderately strenuous, expect to find some rugged sections.

The longest loop at the park is the multi-use/horse trail. Coming in at 8.5 miles, you’ll have to watch your step along this easy trail (it is open to horses, after all), but it’s worth it for the views of Poplar Tree Lake as you traverse along the bluff.

If you want to hike the day away and then sleep under the stars, Meeman-Shelby is a great choice. There are six cabins along Poplar Tree Lake that sleep six people each as well as a plethora of camping options that can be reserved up to a year in advance.

Who is Going to Love It

Hikers of almost all levels will be happy with the trails here. Families who have babies in strollers will love the paved path and those looking for a little challenge or distance will find a trail for them, too.

Fishing on the two lakes in the park is top notch, so it’s really easy to make a whole day out of the activities available at the park. This quick, 25-minute escape from Memphis is a popular spot for those looking to fill their lungs with fresh air after work or on a weekend.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The park is located at 910 Riddick Road in Millington.

If you want to fish at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, be sure you have a Tennessee fishing license and a special permit for the lake before you go. (You can get a permit at the park.)

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Meeman Shelby State Park

910 Riddick Road
Millington, TN, 38053
35.343363, -90.032998

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