By Lauren Albright ′16
Shelby Farms Park is definitely a place that every student should explore before they graduate. It has 4,500 acres of green space and 6.5 miles of trails, making it one of the biggest urban parks in the country. As you enter, you can see the parks’ most unusual attraction: a herd of American buffalo. Next is Patriot Lake, which is outlined by a paved trail where walkers, runners, bikers, and even rollerbladers make their way around. The lake also offers paddle boat, kayak, and canoe rentals, so you don’t have to travel far to spend a day on the water.
If you’d rather stay on land, though, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Remember that 6.5 miles of trail? The trails wind around the lakes and through the woods, and every other part of the park, including the disc golf course, the dog park, the playgrounds, and the picnic grounds. Some of the favorite student activities include disc golf, horseback riding, singletrack, and the new laser tag/paintball area. It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend outdoors and take a break from the books on campus.
Shelby Farms also hosts special events throughout the year such as marathons, concerts, earth day celebrations, and Starry Nights (they light the whole park up with Christmas lights and displays during the holidays). The park is about a 15 minute drive from campus and it’s totally worth it—check out the video below to see the park in action!