Along its course, the Wolf River flows through the communities of LaGrange, Moscow, Rossville, Piperton, Collierville, Germantown and Memphis, touching a population of approximately one million people. Demand for access to the Wolf River has steadily increased over the last decade as a result of the effort of the Wolf River Conservancy as well as an increased interest in recreational boating.
According to 2010 information from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), canoeing and kayaking are two of the fastest growing segments of recreational boating in Tennessee. The Wolf River Conservancy has seen a steady increase in demand for urban canoe trips along the Wolf River, as most of their monthly canoe trips are full with a waiting list. Improving access to the river will not only allow for more individuals to enjoy the River, but do so in a safe, easy and welcoming environment.
This report is the culmination of a 9-month long study that provides the following information gained through public involvement meetings, questionnaires, field surveys and collaboration among the partners.
- Inventory of Existing Launch Sites
- Development of a List of Potential Launch Sites for Additional Access
- Assessment of Conditions at Existing and Proposed Launch Sites
- Examination of Property Ownership at Existing and Potential Launch Sites
- Detailed Recommendations for Future Improvements and Development of Launch Sites
It is anticipated that the projects that arise from this report will help to promote increased use and enjoyment of the Wolf River and provide convenient opportunities for people to participate in outdoor recreational activities. The anticipated projects will also enhance the overall connectivity of green spaces and trail networks in Shelby and Fayette Counties.
After review of the existing and proposed sites and the criteria it was determined that the following sites should be placed in priority over the remaining sites for further development into more functional boat launch sites. A priority was given to these sites based on existing conditions, surrounding land use, ease and ability to develop safe and secure access in a cost effective manner, expected usage, demand from survey participants, spacing along the river and proximity to other green infrastructure.
- Mud Island (River Mile 0.0)
- Midtown / Frayser Site (One of the following to be determined.)
- McLean Boulevard (River Mile 4.4)
- Hollywood Street (River Mile 5.6)
- Highland Street (River Mile 7.6)
- Summer Avenue (River Mile 13.5)
- Walnut Grove Avenue (River Mile 16.1)
- Germantown Road (River Mile 19.5)
- Houston – Levee (River Mile 24.4)
Since the completion of the Wolf River Boat Launch Access Study, the National Park Service, under its Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), worked with the Wolf River Conservancy in June and July 2015 to develop site plans for 8 boat launch access points identified in the Study, including 3 in Fayette County and 1 in north Mississippi. Also in 2015, TVA funded the construction of a new boat launch on the Wolf River in Piperton, TN by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Currently, the WRC, TVA, and the state of Mississippi are advancing planning and construction documents to build a new boat launch in Michigan City.