Kids exploring Mud Island River Park
Alex Shansky

Let's Go See Mud Island River Park

For decades, Mud Island River Park has been one of the top things to do in Memphis. As kids, we always looked forward to walking across the Skybridge on sunny summer days and splashing along the scale replica of Mighty Mississippi at the park.

Now developing a new chapter, Mud Island River Park is currently undergoing construction. While some of its most memorable features are closed, there’s still plenty to do at this iconic Memphis attraction: Take in the mighty views of the river and downtown Memphis as you walk across the Skybridge. Grab an Insta-worthy pic at the MEMPHIS sign with the downtown Memphis skyline as your backdrop. Plus, something to look forward to: The folks behind Mahogany Memphis are working on bringing a brand-new concept to the park soon. Stay tuned for more details!

In the meantime, here are a few more things to know before you go exploring Mud Island River Park:

It’s fun to get there

Take the Skybridge, accessible from the public parking lot at Front Street and Poplar Avenue. You could walk the bridge; it’s only a half-mile to the park (plus some stairs) and you’ll get to really savor those river views as you stroll above it. But with electric scooter rentals downtown and new Explore Bike Share stations on both sides of the bridge, why not cruise over?

If you prefer to drive, the best access point is paid parking in the North Lot, accessible from the A. W. Willis Bridge. Keep in mind, the elevators and escalators leading to Skybridge are currently under construction, so if you have a stroller or use a wheel chair or other mobility device, driving is probably best.   

Playing in the park is free

Other than parking, entry into Mud Island River Park is free.

The centerpiece of Mud Island River Park is the Riverwalk, a scale replica of the Lower Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois, to just south of New Orleans, Louisiana. While the Riverwalk isn’t currently filled with water, you can still walk alongside it, passing through six states in the span of roughly five city blocks. New signage and displays are currently being installed around the Riverwalk to enhance the visitor experience.

As you follow along the RiverWalk from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico, you'll find yourself surrounded by views of the river and downtown Memphis. Strolling this attraction — and soaking in those views — won’t cost you a thing.  

Kids in front of the Mud Island Memphis Sign
Alex Shansky
Bass Pro Mud Island - Memphis
Kayak Wolf River Harbor/ Logan Young
Kids playing on Mud Island
Alex Shansky

There's a lot to see and do at Mud Island River Park

Wild card: It's a great place to just hang out

Think of Mud Island River Park like any other park — with a bit more magic, thanks to its island location. Year-round from dusk to dawn, you can: 

  • Bring your dog (on a leash)
    When you're done exploring Mud Island River Park, you can let Fido off leash at Mud Island Dog Park in Harbor Town. 
  • Spin on a cheery yellow tire swing
  • Enjoy a picnic in a grove of trees
  • Claim a riverside hammock with an unforgettable view
  • Get dressed up and bring your fiancé or family for a photo shoot (Mud Island River Park doesn’t charge a professional photographer fee)
  • Snap that selfie with the MEMPHIS sculpture 
  • Walk or bike the trails
    A new multi-use trail is under construction on the south end of the island near the MEMPHIS sculpture.

About the Author

Born and raised in Memphis, J.T. Mullen has written about the city and its surrounding area for more than seven years. You'll probably catch him in the stands of a Memphis Tigers basketball or football game with barbecue nachos in hand. 

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