Walking Tall Trail in Tennessee
Discover the inspiration of a sheriff that walked tall, rockabilly music, handmade brooms and a full stomach. Fill up, head out and find a true Tennessee treasure along the Walking Tall Trail.
A journey through southwest Tennessee almost begs for a Memphis start, so head to the Mighty Mississippi to experience one of the city’s big events, such as the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Parade and riverfront barbecue and blues at the Memphis in May International Festival. But the big city isn’t the only spot where there’s fun to be had.
Head southeast and pop into the Germantown Commissary for an eat-with-your-fingers feast of barbecue ribs or chicken; the idyllic community is also home to the world-class Germantown Performing Arts Centre. Further east, Collierville Historic Town Square offers a boot store, Bible Museum, antiques, historic train depot and hosts live music on Thursday nights in the summer.
Cut east on 57 toward Grand Junction, where man’s best friend – and hunting partner – is celebrated at the Bird Dog Foundation. Watch how brooms are still made the old-fashioned way at Hockaday Homemade Brooms in Selmer. See where Sheriff Buford Pusser, subject of four Walking Tall films, lived at the Buford Pusser Museum in Adamsville.
The haunting battle of Shiloh, the Civil War’s first major battle, seems forever captured at this often mistshrouded battlefield at Shiloh National Military Park. A bit south along the trail, Pickwick Landing State Park promises a sure-fire way to cool off in the summer. See Greek Revival and farmhouse homes from the 1830s in Savannah’s Historic District, then head northwest to Clifton for a round at Ross Creek Landing.
Linden marks the trail’s turn back through small towns to Lexington and on to Jackson, home of delights like the historic Casey Jones Village and Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store and Restaurant and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Rent a boat at Chickasaw State Park and see prehistoric wonders at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park.
From Jackson, head back to Memphis via the backroads, taking highway 18 to visit downtown Bolivar, with its charming town square and antebellum homes, and Somersville’s Cotton Museum.