New section of Wolf River trail opens on Mud Island

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland ehlps dedicate a new section of the Wolf River Greenway trail on Mud Island. (David Royer)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City Mayor Jim Strickland and county Mayor Mark Luttrell were on Mud Island Saturday morning to dedicate the newest section of the Wolf River Greenway.

The newest one-mile loop of paved biking and walking trail runs along the Wolf River at the northern tip of Mud Island — actually a peninsula because of a levee that connects it to the mainland.

The surrounding 120 acres of forest are also now part of the Wolf River Greenway. When completed, the roughly $50 million project will connect Downtown with Fayette County via 26 miles of trails.

The greenway is being built with a mix of 51 percent private funds and 49 percent public funds.

Developer Henry Turley said that when he began building homes on Mud Island in the 1980s, the area was an overgrown illegal dump site and the Wolf River had been declared “dead” by scientists. But the natural area has come a long way thanks to the efforts of the Wolf River Conservancy and help from local government.

Another section of greenway that will connect Mud Island to the new Big River Crossing bridge at the south end of Downtown is expected to open in another month or so.

City and county officials hope to complete the entire project by 2020.

Click here for a complete trail map