Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi at nearly a mile in length. Big River Crossing is also the longest active rail/bicycle/pedestrian bridge in the world. It acts as the linking point of Main Street to Main Street, a 10-mile, multi-modal corridor that also features the Major River Trail system, providing connections to attractions in Memphis, West Memphis, and the Delta.
Big River Crossing is part of the big river strategic plan, the series of initiatives to trigger and celebrate the Mississippi River and the surrounding landscape. Together with its adjacent park and the Big River Trail System, these projects create a new experience with the river that fosters a deeper understanding of its value and grandeur.
Opened on October 22, 2016, the Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian/bike bridge over the Mississippi River, offering breathtaking views of its ever-changing landscape. By linking Main Streets in Memphis and West Memphis, BRX brings together urban, rural and natural areas and gives recreation opportunities special to each environment.
The nightly Mighty Lights LED display accentuates this iconic structure and is one of the largest light implementations in the country with the addition of the Hernando de Soto Bridge.
How to Get There and What to Expect
On the Memphis side, park at Martyrs Park on Channel 3 Drive or along the lane. More accessible spaces can be found at the Central Station Pavilion, 563 South Front Lane. If you’re on foot or on a bike, you’ll have access to Canal 3 Drive near Virginia Avenue W., just beyond the Church of the River driveway.
The crossing is family-friendly and pet-friendly. The Memphis Police Department tracks 47 surveillance cameras on the Big River Crossing 24 hours a day. Plus, there are some emergency call boxes on the bridge. If you’re at the intersection, note that it’s a shared-use route for pedestrians and peddlers, and bikers can give way to the pedestrians as well as warn them when you’re going by (always on the left).
You’ll quickly feel the safe and durable boards, side panels, and railings when you walk on the Big River Crossing. Within minutes, you know that you’re no longer on terra firma, but you’re walking on the sky bridge over the Mississippi River-thinking and seeing will take your breath away!
When you reach the side of Arkansas, there’s even a roof that provides shade. Walking from Memphis to Arkansas takes you from urban settings to flood plains and farmland. At the end of the Arkansas crossing, there is a covered patio area with chairs, picnic tables and bike racks. Future plans include the construction of a multi-track nature park.
Overall, the walk across the river is a comfortable one with a slight incline more visible as you reach the side of Arkansas. Along the way, you can watch as the boats pass below, or the train rolls along the tracks, all while enjoying the breathtaking views of the South Bluffs, Beale Street Landing and the city skyline.
Cyclists seeking to stretch their trip will pedal their way to Broadway Avenue to the home of Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant and its world-famous cheese dip, which is about three miles from the Big River Crossing terminus. And for serious cyclists, the Big River Trail is a 70-mile trail through the levees and can be reached via the Broadway Avenue in West Memphis.
On the Memphis side, when you leave the Big River Crossing, you’re downtown—the house of the blues and a spot full of restaurants and shops. Bike lanes on Front Street and Riverwalk will drive you around safely. If you want to get deeper into the area, there are bike lanes on the North Parkway (on the northside of downtown) and safe bike lanes on the E. H. Crump on the south side, and the lesser traffic on Jefferson makes it another street option to ride—all of it will take you to Midtown.
Beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, is jam-packed with some of the state’s best hiking trails. If you’re a resident or just a visitor, make sure to check these hikes with your friends and family:
- Nesbit Park – Stanky Creek Trails
- Wolf River Refuge Trailhead
- Wolf River Greenway
- The Hampline Agricenter Sunflower Trail
- Shelby Farms Park
- Tour de Wolf Trailhead
- V&E Greenline
- Chickasaw Trailhead
These amazing trails are located just down the street from our location at South Third Street across from The Southgate Shopping Center. Stop by for a visit anytime!