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Mar

27

2014

A Run at the RiverPark

As a distance runner, I often tire of the same old running paths. I long for a change of scenery because my surroundings are an important factor in how long I’m able to continue running.

So it was a breath of fresh air when I discovered the nature trail at Tunica RiverPark. Last weekend, I decided to make the drive from downtown Memphis to Tunica, Mississippi, with the specific mission of exploring the RiverPark’s nature trail. The riverfront view was picturesque.

The nature trail offers 1.5 miles of boardwalk trail and 1.6 miles of wildlife trail. I set out for the boardwalk trail, which runs alongside the Mississippi River, through wetlands and around a small lake. Keeping a relatively slow pace and stopping to explore, the run took me about 45 minutes.

 

My run was positively therapeutic. I usually run to music, but the trail was so serene that music was not necessary – nature provided the soundtrack. The sound of the birds chirping and the wind through the trees was good enough for me. 

Three types of terrain provide an extra element of excitement for runners. There’s pavement, a wooden boardwalk and, finally, gravel. The trail also offers an assortment of wildlife, including turtles throughout the wetlands and deer throughout the wooded areas. 

My favorite part of the nature trail was the wetlands. The swamp trees twist and turn out of a bed of water. It’s really a whimsical setting. Plus, running through wooded areas is ideal during the wave of heat and humidity in the summertime.

You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy the nature trail. You also don’t have to be a human or an adult; leashed dogs and strollers are welcome.

Tunica RiverPark’s nature trail is a hidden treasure. Whether you’re staying in Tunica and itching to get out of your hotel room or you’re a nearby resident looking for a small getaway, this is the perfect place to come for a short run, jog or stroll. It’s a lovely place to step away from the hustle and bustle, and clear your thoughts.

The RiverPark and trail is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., October through February. March through September, the trail is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. There’s no admission fee to access the trail; it’s completely free and open to the public.

If you prefer staying active on wheels instead of feet, Tunica’s Great River Road Bicycle Route offers 24 scenic miles of bicycle trail, beginning at Harrah’s Casino and following Old Highway 61 into downtown Tunica.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out, get active and find out about the nature of Tunica for yourself.


Brittany Fisher is a writer and runner who loves taking weekend trips to Tunica. You can follow her runs and experiences on Twitter and Instagram.

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