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We camped here right after we got our Jayco 2012 travel trailer. It was our inaugural trip. Campground is small but well maintained. The inner loop of the primary campground has been updated with new concrete and gravel and 2 sites (I think 6,8) are ADA accessible.
We enjoyed the hikes around the Civil War historic area and the nature center was very interesting as well. There is a nice raised walking area there as well. Nice playground area for the kids!
If it doesn’t creep you out that there is a penitentiary <2 miles from the campground (and you have to drive past it to get there), Fort Pillow is a great park for a quick weekend getaway.
Oh yeah, it’s the lake. Apparently it was drained to repair the dam. Looks like and apocalyptic wasteland where the lake was. Walked out to the middle of it and some Perv was flying a drone over my head. Stayed at the tent campsite which was ok because no one else was there, but you can see the rv site and some dumb buildings and a big streetlight. With the amount of dogs barking it sounds like you are in a neighborhood. It was ok. I guess any state park is better than no state park.
We stayed at this park for one night because it was the mid-way point on our trip from Alabama to Arkansas. Additional factors in selecting this park were that it was in a fairly convenient location to I-55 (5 1/2 miles), a great price ($16/night with senior discount), and a state park with trails and plenty of green space. The state park is 1,138 acres and offers plenty of recreational activities including hiking, an Olympic-size pool, basketball court, tennis courts, ranger-led programs, picnic pavilions, a playground, and a cultural center displaying artifacts found on the property. (Note: most of these are not located in the campground but other parts of the park.)
Park roads are paved and wide enough for any size RV to navigate. Sites are paved with gravel patios containing picnic tables, BBQ grill, and fire pits. There are a mix of pull-thrus and back-in sites of varying lengths(some of which claim to be 80– 90 feet) which can be reserved on-line for up to 14 days. Many back-in sites were longer than the pull-thrus. About half of the sites are on a slight incline that we would consider unlevel. Sites have electric (30 and 50 amp) and water that are easy to reach. A dump station is located as you exit the park and is easy to navigate in and out of.
Our site (#5) was a pull-thru claiming to be 61 feet but was slightly short for our 45’ RV and tow car. Luckily, we could pull forward enough into the road so we didn’t have to unhitch. If you are towing a trailer and don’t mind backing-in there are lots of options for long sites. Check their webpage for details about each site including approximate length, width, and grade which may or may not be accurate. There are also pictures of each site online. We were able to get 20-25 channels with our antenna. Our Verizon hotspot and 4G phone worked well.
There are not too many amenities in the campground itself except a playground, restroom/showers, and laundry with free ice. When I tried to go into the laundry room around 8:30 am it was locked so I can’t attest to how clean it was. In other parts of the park are the Chucalissa museum(which you can get free tickets to when checking in), a swimming pool, hiking trails, picnic areas and tennis/basketball courts. The park is located on the south side of Memphis in a pretty run-down part of town which is very obvious if you approach from Route 61(exit 7 off I-55) where you pass pawn shops, liquor stores, and unoccupied stores. The other way to approach the park is from Paul Lowery Road(exit 9 off I-55) where you drive through an industrial part of town which leaves you with a totally different impression. While there are gas stations, restaurants, and various shops within 3-4 miles of the park, we probably would not patronize them.
The park is located just 5 miles from Graceland and 10 miles from Beale Street and the downtown action so from that perspective, the location is decent. What we liked about this park was the$16/night(with senior discount) price which was a great deal for a water/electric site for one night. What we didn’t like was the whole feel of the park and area. The surrounding neighborhood made us feel a little uncomfortable as it was a pretty shady side of town. Let’s just say the southside of Memphis does not appear to be that desirable. While there is a 14-day limit, it appeared some of the people were spending extended periods of time in the park and there were some pretty run-down RV’s, one which was covered by a tarp. We did notice one tag hanging on a site that was issued for more than 14 days so it may be possible to camp for extended periods of time. There were hiking trails but we did not go on them because we honestly did not feel comfortable hiking there, especially toward dusk. There were park rangers that lived on-site in residences nearby the campground that were armed. While we did feel a little uneasy in the campground there were no incidents that warranted that conclusion- just our own paranoia. The rangers were very nice at check in and did drive through the campground periodically. If passing through this area again, we would not stay here again.
We had a great time at this campsite. Large camping areas with fire ring, grill and picnic table.
This campsite is right by a hiking trail so it was pretty easy to get firewood. The bathrooms/ showers area are well maintained and easy to get too. All in all a great trip and will be going again real soon.
My family and I live about 25 min from the campground at Meeman-Shelby State Park. We have been several times and have camped with tents, pop-ups, and now with our Geo-Pro. We love this campground.
Pros: -49 available sites -all sites with water, 30A, fire ring, grill and picnic table -a variety of hiking/biking trails -update playground -lake with rental kayaks, canoes, boats (in season) -fully functioning bathhouse that is dated but clean
Cons: -no sewer at any sites -some sites on the back sides of the camp ground are subject to erosion and can be unlevel and not ideal for kids -large park so many of the activities outside the campground require driving -1 bathhouse which can be an issue on certain weekends -MOSQUITOS. If you go after the weather warms up, be forewarned that the mosquitos will eat you alive. We mostly camp at Meeman-Shelby in the fall/winter. We do not camp Spring/Summer.
There is a disc golf course that is very popular. There is a nature center that is under renovation that has snakes, spiders and owls to see. There are cabins to rent but we have never stayed in one. They look nice from the outside.
I’ve included several pictures of camp sites and the grounds. All in all, Meeman-Shelby is a great park and is perfect for families. Make sure to schedule a friday night dinner at the General Store. Steak and live music that sets the tone for a great camping weekend!
I am yet to leave a less than good review for a state park. We decided to come for new years and take a mini vacation. Due to the fact the state park is near a water treatment facility, we only made it two nights. The smell of sewer was awful. On top of that the park was unkempt, filthy, and littered with trash. There were many people camping in cars. We never felt safe. The camp host kept money from me that we had paid for reservations, I learned later. I do not recommend. We will not return. Sorry to Tennessee state parks as I hate to give a bad review.
We ended up camping here after another campground didn't work out. We arrived without reservation and didn't know much about the park, so we needed a little help from the rangers when we were choosing a spot. The campground seems to have been renovated in the last few years. The sites are all mixed together. You have a handful of RV sites with 50 amp, a couple of 30 amp sites and then lots of tent sites that have 20 amp or no power at all. The problem for us was that the leaves have fallen, so we couldn't even see where the parking pads were and all of the different sites were mixed together. I think it would be easier to sort it out via the website that has info listed for each site.
Ranger Tyson informed us that they were doing a night hike to the Fort and they would be serving Gumbo for dinner around the campfire at the Fort. Sign me up! It was one of the fee based activities, but for $5 per person, it was totally worth it! Tyson and Matt were awesome and the evening hike was surprisingly very cool!
As for the park itself, they don't have a huge "tourist attraction" like some parks, so it was very peaceful and not overcrowded. They work hard to offer great ranger lead programs. You can tell right away that the staff really does care about this park.
The bathhouse was newer and clean. Each bathroom was private in that you had your own suite style bathroom with toilet, sink & shower. The only drawback is that the bath house building (2) only had (1) mens suite and (1) womens suite each. I could see a line forming during warmer months, especially if there were lots of tent campers.
The park had a really nice day use area with a new playground, pavilion area and picnic tables. There is also a basketball goal/court area near the day use area. The visitors center/museum was a bunker style building built into the side of the hill. Great exhibit and lots of info on the battle and fort at Fort Pillow. There is also a small fishing lake with a boat ramp and pier.