1-3 Wolf River
1. Ghost River Section: This beautiful 11 mile canoe float features abundant wildfire and a magnificent cypress swamp. The well-marked trail is perfect for moderately experienced canoeists. Beginners contact the Wolf River Conservancy for group trips. Outdoors Inc offers maps and rentals. You can also contact Wolf River Canoe Rentals.
Where: This section starts at LaGrange Road just South of the town and takes out at Bateman Bridge on Bateman Road.
2. Bateman Bridge to Moscow Section: This 7-mile float is similar to the Ghost River less technical and better for beginners.
Where: The put in is at Bateman Bridge and takes out at the Hwy 57 bridge at Moscow.
3. The Wolf River through Shelby Farms: This 3.5-mile trip through the Lucius Burch Natural Area in Shelby Farms is an often-overlook option for a quick afternoon getaway. It can be difficult to believe you are paddling through a city of a million people.
Where: The put in is on the West side of Germantown Pkwy. The take out is just South of Walnut Grove.
4-5 Mississippi River
4. Shelby Forest to the Memphis Riverfront: This 18-mile trip begins at the North end of Shelby Forest and Ends at the historic cobblestones in downtown Memphis, or the Auction Street Bridge. For experienced paddlers with knowledge of the Mississippi River and the rules of navigation this historic float features great scenery and stopover on sandbars at low water.
Where: Start at the boat ramp in Shelby Forest and take out at the cobblestones or the boat ramp under the Auction Street Bridge.
5. Mud Island Boat Ramp to the Memphis Riverfront: This classic float for experienced paddlers is a 3.5-mile run, which can be made more adventurous with a crossing to the Loosahatchie bar on the Arkansas side. There is a great beach for leg stretching and picnicking, and a 50-acre lagoon with excellent bird watching. Passing under the Hernando-Desoto Bridge in a canoe or kayak is an experience not soon forgotten.
Where: Put in at the boat ramp on the North end of Mud Island and take out at the cobblestones or the ramp underneath the Auction Street Bridge . (Be sure to use the boat ramp on the Mississippi River. The ramp on the Wolf River is closed.)
6. Memphis Harbor: This is an excellent place to paddle out of the current and usually out of the wind. Take care during busy times to avoid other boat traffic.
Where: Put in at Auction Street Bridge, paddle South to Mississippi River, 1.3 miles or North to the back of the harbor, 1.8 miles.
7. Lake Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge: Lake Wapanocca is a medium sized lake about 30 minutes from downtown Memphis. It has many large old cypress trees and is very similar to Reelfoot Lake on a smaller scale. The bird watching and fishing are excellent.
Where: Take I-55 North to Hwy 42 and the town of Turrell. Follow the signs to Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge.
8. Hatchie River – Hwy 76 to Hwy 70: The Hatchie River is a meandering unchanneled river very similar to the upper Wolf River. This section is entirely covered by the Hatchie Wildlife Refuge and contains many different species of fauna and flora. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has reintroduced river otters to the area and they are thriving. This float is about eight hours, but can take a full day at low water. The best time to paddle this section is October through May.
Where: The put in is the Hwy 76 Bridge near Brownsville and I-40. The take out is at the Hwy 70 bridge.
9. Patriot Lake in Shelby Farms: Patriot Lake is an acre lake in the heart of Shelby Farms. It provides an easily accessible body of water for a quick workout or a practice session with your canoe and kayak. The Bluff City Canoe Club members play kayak polo there on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the Summer.
Where: Just North of Walnut Grove in Shelby Farms.