365 Things to Do in Memphis #108: Play Godzilla on the Model Mississippi

Posted by Holly Whitfield | April 17th 2012 5690 0

Only in Memphis can you walk along a scale model of the Mississippi River right next to the real thing.

Assignment #108 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to take a walk along the model Mississippi on Mud Island.

River Walk, Mud Island River Park, Memphis, Tenn.

Though the model river spans the equivalent of five city blocks, it only covers the lower 954 miles of the Mississippi River. I have to wonder if somewhere up north, there's a similar model of the river's upper half. 

Water flows from north to south in a topographically correct concrete riverbed from the Missouri border to a huge, fake Gulf of Mexico (that you can paddle boat in).

Memphis on the fake Mississippi, Mud Island, Memphis, Tenn.

Along the way, there are scale models of the cities that exist along the river. I suppose that Memphis is one of the largest cities on the Mississippi, but the grey metal scale map of Memphis seems inordinately huge.

What I love most about the model Mississippi is that it's a small enough version of the real thing that you can wade in it, straddle it, jump across it and indulge all of your Godzilla fantasies in the cities along it. There are also tiny bridges.

Bridges over the Model Mississippi, Memphis, Tenn.

The model Mississippi runs the length of Mud Island River Park. Admission to the park is free, and you can access it by walking over the pedestrian bridge on Front St. or by going over the bridge to Harbor Town and parking at the north end of the park. Mud Island is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday from April 14 until October 31st.

Go there: 

Mud Island River Park

125 North Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 576-7230


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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