I did a few runs on the treadmill for the sake of time, but I really wanted to take my Saturday long run outdoors. A quick internet search showed Shelby Farms Park was only about 10 minutes away. In theory, they had a few miles of greenways. Sweet! I bundled up for the 25 degree weather and was on my way!
I found the park easily thanks to the GIANT signs they had along the road. Pretty hard to miss these things.
While the signs outside of the park were great, I was a little lost once I got in. I think this is because there was some construction going on. I figured I'd drive around until I found a greenway and then just run from there. It didn't take me too long before I found a little parking area right near a trail. Great! Unfortunately, when I pulled in, almost every parking space was surrounded by broken glass from previous car break-ins. Not cool.
Never a good sign when broken glass is everywhere.
I pulled into the parking area and wondered if going for a run here was really a good idea. Sure, this was a park, but was it a park where normal people went to exercise? Or was it a place where junkies hung out to get their fix? I had no clue. The broken glass definitely didn't make me feel like this place was 100% safe. But I noticed several people who were running by, and none of them looked like axe-murderers (one was pushing a stroller). As I stated, it was 25 degrees out with a wind chill of stupid cold, so if the hard core runners were out here, it was probably a good place to run, right? So, I got out of my car and headed down the greenway.
And I'm glad I did! It was a nicely paved trail of a three mile loop. Well, I'm assuming it was a loop - I didn't actually go around it. I tried, but the signs weren't exactly clear as to where I was to go once I got to the campgrounds, so I kind of made up my own route and then double-backed a few times to get in a little over six miles. It wasn't as tree-lined as our Nashville greenways are, but it had a few pretty spots. I've heard there are also some off-road trails in this park, but I couldn't find them. Maybe the next time I'm in town.
If you're ever visiting the Memphis area, and need a place to run - check out Shelby Farms Park. They also have a dog park, horseback riding and BUFFALO! No, I didn't see any buffalo and yes, I'm bummed about it. Maybe next time. See you soon, Memphis!