AAA Editor Notes
Mud Island River Park is downtown on the Mississippi River; it is reached by an automobile bridge or a pedestrian bridge/monorail accessed from 125 N. Front St. Completed in 1982, the park occupies the southern tip of a peninsula—it's not really an island—separating the Mississippi River from the downtown area. The park's main feature is the Mississippi River Museum, which occupies most of the five-story building you enter once you step off the covered pedestrian Skybridge or the monorail suspended beneath the bridge. On the island you'll have a fantastic view of the Memphis skyline and the double arches of the Hernando de Soto Bridge carrying I-40 traffic over the Mississippi into Arkansas.
Outside the museum is the River Walk, a half-mile-long concrete scale model of the Lower Mississippi complete with flowing water, inlaid street maps of major towns and a 1-acre pond representing the Gulf of Mexico. The detailed model depicts Ole Man River's every serpentine twist and turn. It is constructed of layered slabs with each 1-inch layer representing 5 feet of depth. Each 30-inch step you take corresponds to a mile, making you feel like a giant as you walk all the way from Cairo, Ill., to New Orleans. Signs placed at regular intervals describe interesting landmarks, historic sites and natural features.
Besides splashing barefoot through the River Walk, you can listen to music during concerts held in the park's 5,000-seat amphitheater.
Guided tours are available. Food is available.