Walking Tall Trail - Memphis Rockabilly, Rails & Legendary Trails

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Get ready to explore West Tennessee like you’ve never seen it before on the Walking Tall Trail. On the surface, it’s a collection of charming small towns, mom-and-pop eateries, courthouse squares and barbecue gems. Dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover the fascinating stories, people, and places that have shaped American history and culture.

It’s a trail defined, in part, by the stories of the larger-than-life figures with ties to the area. W.C. Handy, B.B. King and many more blues legends got their start on Beale Street; Rockabilly pioneers like Carl Perkins, country legend Eddy Arnold and international icon Elvis Presley all have their roots here. You’ll visit the home of railroad legend Casey Jones, and learn how President Andrew Jackson and frontiersman David Crockett are tied to these towns. Connect with powerful figures in American history like author Alex Haley; uncover the stories of the Queen of the Confederacy, the sharp shooter and the 1,000-pound man. Get to know the trail’s namesake and a fascinating figure of the American South, Sheriff Buford Pusser of McNairy County. He famously fought crime along the Mississippi state line in the 1960s and has been depicted in four major motion pictures, two TV movies, and a TV series.

The trail explores the history of African-Americans in the South, with sites that tell the stories of slavery and war, early freedom and the blues culture, and the struggle for civil rights. It’s also a barbecue lover ’s dream, with opportunities to sample this authentic culinary art and its subtle regional differences - we guarantee it’s worth as many stops as you care to make.

You’ll find these towns dotted with markers detailing the skirmishes and turf struggles of the Civil War. These stories aren’t confined to the battlefields - homes, churches, and courthouses have stories to tell from their days as headquarters, hideouts and hospitals. You’ll also visit what is arguably the best-preserved Civil War battle site in the South at Shiloh National military park - the site where one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war raged for two cold, wet days on the banks of the Tennessee River.

The Wolf, Hatchie and Beech Rivers also cut through the Walking Tall Trail, along with many lakes, five State Natural Areas and five Tennessee State Parks, recognized as the best in the nation. From sunsets over farmland to the wildlife on the river banks, West Tennessee’s quiet natural beauty is an attraction on its own.

This is truly a trail for Tennessee explorers, for those who love the charm of a small town square, the satisfaction of a down-home meal, the ghosts of America’s history, and the adventurous spirit of a good road trip.