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Mud Island is more than just a museum. The 52-acre park on Mud Island is home to several attractions, including the River Walk and the Mississippi River Museum. If you have seen any pre-1900 photos of the Memphis waterfront, you may have noticed that Mud Island is missing from the photos. This island first appeared in 1900 and became permanent in 1913. In 1916, the island joined with the mainland just north of the mouth of the Wolf River, but a diversion canal was dug through the island to maintain a free channel in the Wolf River.

To learn all about the river, you can follow a 5-block-long scale model of 900 miles of the Mississippi River. Called the River Walk, the model is complete with flowing water, street plans of cities and towns along the river, and informative panels that include information on the river and its history.

On Mud Island you can rent bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboats (the latter two are not for use on the Mississippi River itself, of course) by the hour or half day, allowing plenty of time for a leisurely exploration of the area. Evenings during the summer, the Mud Island Amphitheater hosts such touring acts as Jimmy Buffett, Norah Jones, and Rob Thomas. Allow an hour, or make a day of it.