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  1. #1
    Senior Member Highstrung's Avatar
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    Bored and lonely in Memphis

    Hi all,

    So I made the mistake of taking a job in Memphis, TN and now I feel like I am in a big black hole in the world of hiking and hammocking. I've scoured the internet in search of public lands that I can get out and experience within a reasonable distance and have come up nearly empty handed. First, let me say that I know there are several state parks around. Most of them don't allow hammocks much less have trails you can camp on. Here's what I have so far:

    -St. Francis NF--issue here is the complete lack of trails and the fact that hunters abound during prime hiking season.

    -Sipsey Wilderness Area--Can't wait to get out there, but it's 3.5 hrs away which is a stretch on a weekend.

    -Land between the lakes--Hiked this solo to death. Not much water near the trail makes for difficult trips.

    So that's where I'm at. I was hoping someone would have a hidden jewel to offer up. I'm also calling out to all hammockers in the area who might want to meet up. My wife and I don't know anyone in the area. So give us a shout! We're anxious to make some friends out here.
    Last edited by Highstrung; 07-15-2011 at 03:15.
    You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. -- Al Capone

  2. #2
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    You really aren't too far from the Ozarks. I have only been there once and was ground dwelling, so I'm not sure how hammocks are viewed in the national park. But it might work, others on here may be able to give more info.

  3. #3
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    We use to live 45 minutes from the Sipsey and thats some 'premier' stuff there. We moved to Missouri and I miss the Sipsey..and the Pinhoti.
    Luckily Missouri and Ark. have quite a bit to offer.
    Anyways..
    no hidden jewels,but
    Depending on how far you want to travel try Holly Springs National Forest in Miss. and Shawnee National forest in Southern Illinois the Shawnee has the 'River to River' Trail passing through it..
    And the Ozarks in SE MO are beautiful with more then enough places to camp,hike,float,hang..whatever.Check out 'Ozark Trail' stuff.

    edit: We have hung all over the place in the Ozarks with no problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    You want to take a trip to Big Hill Pond SP. There's several loop trails there to hike (including backcountry sites with shelters), and I've never had a problem hanging.

    Also, you may need to reset your travel expectations a little. 3 hours to Sipsey is nothing. I have made dozens of trips there, often hiking in on Friday nights. There's a lot of other great hiking in AL also (Pinhoti Trail, WoJ, etc).
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  5. #5
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Amazin' expectations of parks for human-powered recreation: JUST DRIVE 3-4K pound of VEHICLE 4-8 HOURS IN A CAR, BURNING $50+ in fuel to get there!!!

    That said in support of gumn't and the taxes it takes to buy and preserve land from development, and to maintain it for outdoor human-powered recreation.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 07-15-2011 at 09:20.

  6. #6
    Senior Member more's Avatar
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    I live in Memphis as well and I share the same frustration with the lack of nearby places to go. The places mentioned above are all great. To the west in Arkansas you have other good places to go that are loosely about the same-ish in drive time away. The Sylamore trail near Mountain View is fantastic, and Eagle Rock Loop near Langley is one of the best places I've ever been in my life. Yeah Memphis sucks and the Mississippi Delta is a flat, featureless and endless void, so get an audiobook to listen to while you're crossing it to get to the hills

  7. #7
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Google earth has something called Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge just NW of the city..slightly farther north, the Hatchie and Lower Hatchie NWR....no info on the camping possibilities, but might be worth a google check at least- admittedly these are River-ine ecosystems, but anything is better than nothing at all! ( and as an NWR should be free of hunters..)
    KM (who has been thru memphis a few times, but never really stayed to look around..
    HTH)

  8. #8
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    Amazin' expectations of parks for human-powered recreation: JUST DRIVE 3-4K pound of VEHICLE 4-8 HOURS IN A CAR, BURNING $50+ in fuel to get there!!!

    That said in support of gumn't and the taxes it takes to buy and preserve land from development, and to maintain it for outdoor human-powered recreation.
    I'm totally confused by this response. What does it mean?


    Jerry
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  9. #9
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    It means that it is ironic and pathetic if you have to drive great distances to find outdoor parks and trails for self-powered recreation, especially if living in a large city.

    The reason why people must do this, in many cases, is that some before them have chosen insufficient taxes and government to provide and preserve those recreation opps, that part of the common good. We're seeing closure and non-maintenance of many, many parks and recreation areas.

    I don't know Tennessee. That other respondents encouraged the OP to go out of state is sad, if it is necessary or even close to it.

    I hope it isn't against the rules or otherwise too political to say that there's good reason to support in several ways outdoor recreation and preservation organizations.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JerryW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemostiX View Post
    It means that it is ironic and pathetic if you have to drive great distances to find outdoor parks and trails for self-powered recreation, especially if living in a large city.

    The reason why people must do this, in many cases, is that some before them have chosen insufficient taxes and government to provide and preserve those recreation opps, that part of the common good. We're seeing closure and non-maintenance of many, many parks and recreation areas.

    I don't know Tennessee. That other respondents encouraged the OP to go out of state is sad, if it is necessary or even close to it.

    I hope it isn't against the rules or otherwise too political to say that there's good reason to support in several ways outdoor recreation and preservation organizations.
    It would be wonderful if we could all walk out of our back door and hike off into the wilderness, but that just isn't the real world. Fossil fueled transportation is normally required to get to any backpacking area, be it a personal vehicle or public transportation. The other respondents are actually trying to be helpful with location suggestions. I can't figure out how your response is helping the original poster find happiness in Memphis.

    My interest in this thread comes from having lived in Memphis for two years and still having family in the area.

    Also, to Highstrung, my apologies for following this tangent.


    Jerry
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