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Brownsville, TENNESSEE

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Most Recent Brownsville Camping Reviews
Confusing Campground, Awesome Rangers!

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.

Nice place

Nice campground with clean bathhouse. We arrived very late at night and the staff were very nice and helpful. The only bad thing about this place is all of the Geese at the swimming area.

Nice park, mehhh campground

I really like the tent area campground. Very accessible to the water & bridge. The horse trailer campground is nice and also close to the water. However, the RV campground is not close to the water and that was super disappointing. Lots of upgraded sites though and they are working on upgrading the bathrooms in the RV campground. The pads seemed level enough, but the sites were small and hilly. Ground also very soft and muddy, I guess from the recent construction. Very limited cell service in the park.

Still in the city

Close to several amenities, but not really camping. Welcome to Memphis (technically Cordova, but we still.got the crime.) Shelby farms is a great park, one of the largest city parks in the US; you're close, but it's still city. If camping here, it's 5-6 miles off I40, and I'd just use it as a quick overnight (if tent camping) Some RVs stay here for quite a while. Note if you're coming during a festival ( Delta Fair, Corn Maze for Halloween, etc) you'll have congestion and noise.

Ranger Review: Grub Stick Deluxe Kit at Chickasaw Rustic State Park

Campground Review: 

On Friday, August 23, 2019 my son Charlie and I camped at Chickasaw State Park to celebrate his ninth birthday. We couldn’t have found a better park than this one. It reminds me of the classic summer camps I saw on television as a kid: beautiful lake, horses, stables, paddle boats and canoes, and even a well maintained swimming hole. They even have three birds of prey on display for visitors to enjoy. From our arrival to the moment we left, the rangers and staff made us feel welcomed and safe. Ranger Brittany helped me find the perfect site and even checked in later to make sure that we were completely satisfied with the spot. Who wouldn’t be? The campsite was located right on Lake Placid in the middle of almost 15,000 acres of state forest. Each campsite in the tent campground had a new picnic table, a fire ring, access to potable water, and a grill. Our campsite, number 109, was located right next to a large handicapped parking spot that is big enough for a very large handicapped van. The parking spot was constructed on level ground with concrete. Campsite 109 was far away from the bathroom, but the trail to it was beautiful and made even the most hasty trip pleasant walking. Campsite 109 also had easy access to the pier which spans the width of the lake. My son and I enjoyed walking out into the middle of the lake and seeing the expanse of the Milky Way(what a treat!). There’s great firewood for sale at the stables for$6.00 a box. This is the best campfire wood I’ve ever purchased. It burned slow and steady leaving us enough to pass on to one of our neighbors the next morning. I would suggest spending at least two nights here. We only spent one, and my son and I didn’t want to leave. There’s so much we didn’t get to see and do at this park. This place is a real gem. I’ll guarantee that you will feel like you’re back at summer camp. By the way, don’t forget to bring a good lantern or flashlight with you: you will need it since many of the trails to the bathroom and out to the pier are very dark at night. This just helps you to see the stars better.

………………….

Product Review: 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the opportunity to test some of the latest and coolest camping products on the market. On my camping trip to Chickasaw, my son and I tried out the Grub Stick Deluxe Kit. What a fun way to cook over a campfire! In my kit I received two telescopic poles which have well made attachments such as the Grub Cage, Grub Fork, Burg Cage, and Grub Tube that attach to the end of the telescopic poles. 

We used the Burg Cage for supper and it made awesome burgers. They had that perfect campfire flavor. My son enjoyed getting to cook his own food rather than waiting for dad to cook it on the grill. The handles are very comfortable to hold, and they were just the right size for my son’s smaller hands. The whole time he was using it, I kept hearing wows. It’s great when a company makes a camping product that engages children in cooking. The Grub Stick does just that. 

The kit also came with special grips like the finger grabber and the hot pad to help open and close the cages and other attachments. You can really tell that the makers of the Grub Stick thought of everything when they were designing this. 

One of the things that was really fun was the Grub Cage. It left me wondering,“where have you been all my life?” Instead of building the S’more AFTER roasting the marshmallow on a stick, you build it in the cage and toast the whole thing. I think this is the way the S’more was always meant to be. Everything, including the graham crackers, oozes with sugary, toasty goodness. 

For breakfast, we used the Grub Tube and wrapped it with bacon and croissant rolls. It was as good as it sounds. As I was cooking, I kept thinking of other things that could be cooked over the fire using this kit. I’m excited to have it in my cooking kit now, and I see us using this quite often especially on those winter camping trips when we want to stay close to the fire. 

Overall, this is a great product for engaging kids in camping. The Grub Stick will allow my kids to come up with their own recipes, put them together on their own, and then try them out on the fire. They love being a part of the cooking part of camping, and the Grub Stick is the perfect tool for this. 

I did have an issue with one of the telescopic handles. After cooking three burgers, one of the telescopic handles broke. I contacted customer service, and they went above my expectations to not only replace it but to help me understand their product even more. Most people expect things to be returned with“no questions asked,” but this isn’t how Grub Stick operates. They asked for pictures and a description of the failure so they can make sure their product gets better and better. I wouldn’t hesitate at all to order more from this company. It’s great when people not only believe in their product but also stand by it and are always looking for ways to improve it. They sent a replacement immediately, and I can’t wait to get this back out in the field.

Clean but poor Management

Upon arrival for a month long water and electric stay I signed a receipt for one site and was directed to set up in a different site (for which our parking tags were filled out for). When we arrived at the alternate site it was poorly marked and it didn’t have water hookup so I went back to the office to clarify if we were in the right place and the owner told me it was the site to the left of the marker with both hookups. Lo and behold her husband came around the next day and said we were in the wrong spot and we’d have to move. On day 3 she came by and said we were fine and would be ok to stay there for the month. 2 days later she came back and said we could only stay there two weeks and then would have to move to the site next to ours for the rest of the month. Another family occupied that site later in the week for a weeklong stay and left after two days because the stench of the sewage leaking from the seasonal camper in the lot adjacent to it was horrific. We ended up leaving after our two weeks because we were tired of the back and forth and the cost for 2 weeks vs a month was virtually the same. Upon talking to other families, we weren’t the only ones who were told they would have to move during their stay.

The campground itself was clean and upkept. The beach was nice. Very shallow swimming which was perfect for young kids. Laundry (one washer and dryer) on site and the bathhouse was kept clean and maintained.

Beautiful Setting

Beautiful southern Tennessee setting. Bathrooms didn’t appear to have been cleaned while we were there. Checking the facilities every few hours would be a priority on a holiday weekend but evidently it wasn’t.

Nice for nature lovers

This campground has well spaced sites, plenty of nature and several trails. The bathrooms are dated. Staff is nearly non existent. The campground is at least 30 minutes from any town so plan ahead! The playground is small and the place is never busy. It’s great if you want to have a quiet nature loving vacation. Their website says there is a pool and this is NOT TRUE.

Country campground

This campground was renovated over the last year and there appears to be a few things left to be done but overall a nice, pleasant escape from town. Be prepared to have a drive to town for provisions & restaurants. There bathhouses have a lot left to be desired but the sites are all paved with fire rings, grills & picnic tables. Most sites appear to be fairly level.

Newly renovated

Nice level campsites with white rock. Primitive camping, no water or electric. Not big enough for RVs. Nice bathrooms, excellent showers.  

Very pretty with lots of hiking trails and a lake for fishing.

Excellent state park with great history

This description really needs to be updated. They are not just an historic area but an Historic State Park. They have about a dozen RV sites plus another 20 tent sites. Facilities are very nice and include showers. They have really worked hard to improve the entire park in the last 3 years or so and have really turned this into a hidden gem. The historic site of Ft Pillow from the Civil war is on one of the hiking trails. The trails also go along the Mississippi river and provide some beautiful views. They also have a small lake and available canoes/kayaks for rent. The staff is very attentive and provide a variety of programs.

Easy access.

It is a trailer park that also has RV spots, it is clean but campers are close together, no campfire spot. Lots of long term campers.

Well kept and small.

The CG is close to the commissary. Not much else with in walking distance.

Small but quiet.

This is no longer a military CG. It is owned by the city and managed by a great couple.

Older Feeling Park With Nice Features

This was one of the first state parks in Tennessee I visited on my trip through the state. Despite being an older feeling camp it offered many unique features and options for keeping myself entertained. (Check Out Their Website)

When it came to camping not only were there tent sites but also cabins which had a very rustic feel. I opted for a tent site which ran $25 and had full electrical hookups (site 40), a big perk for charging my devices at the end of a busy day. My site had a bbq grill and fire ring in addition to a picnic table and was well shaded. I felt like the sites along this side of the road were a little more spacious than the other side of the road which were a little more close together.

I was about half way down the loop and a short distance from the restroom and showers which were in decent shape but nothing super special. The water pressure here was good for showering.

My favorite thing about this camp was the outdoor activities which seemed to be everywhere. I hiked both the Woodland and Pioneer Springs trails (MAP), each about 4 miles and along the way enjoyed just taking in the outdoors. I will say that if you do any trails in late summer here you will need mosquito spray because they come in droves.

You can travel to the boat ramp and marina and rent boats there or bring your own to take advantage of the lake which winds through various types of vegetation and allows you to see the lake in a way you cannot from the shore line. I most enjoyed taking out a kayak and exploring the swampy feeling area, though I will say being so close to the Mississippi River I was afraid of what I might find lurking in the water.

Book Your Site Here

TIPS:

  • Bring citronella candles for your table when camping and try to put a dryer sheet in your pocket to ward off mosquitoes. In addition to spray these will make your trip here a bit more comfortable.
  • Bring your own firewood if you want to have a campground. There were signs around camp saying not to move wood.
Primitive camping at it’s best! Newly renovated sites!

The sites at this park are beautiful and it’s been one of my favorite camping spots for as long as I can remember. The new renovations make it top notch. If they added electric and water hookups, this place would be booked solid! Nice clean bath house. Very friendly staff and ranger. Great hiking! Canoe and kayak rentals available, but beware of stumps. Beautiful scenery and wildlife abounds. Planning to revisit in November or December and take advantage of a warmer than usual weekend.

Huge State Park

Campground is very rustic, shaded and sites are kinda small. Cell service is spotty. Some sites are really close together and some are decent size. The day area around Poplar Tree Lake is nice with kayak, flat bottom fishing boats and paddle boats for rent. Cabins seem very nice from the outside. Lots of nice playgrounds and a disc golf course.

Great Location

This park is in a part of Shelby Farms Park which is a 4,500 acres of lakes, bike and running trails, playgrounds and so much more. The park also has plenty of events to keep you entertained. And, there are bison!! The RV park has a farmers market that has a pretty good selection of local fruits,veggies and your normal farmer market fare. Super close to Memphis and what the city and surrounding suburbs have to offer. Seriously, there is no way to ever get bored here. There us always some event, concert, play, bar, sport, etc… always! Nitty Gritty: the laundry room is small and hot with old machines. The bathrooms are ok. And, there are no trees where the RV's are to keep you cool. These three reasons are the only reason why I didn't rate this park a 5.

Shade!!!!!

It’s a nice camp ground … pleasant hosts… nice pool… and there is shade. After chasing a heat wave in a teardrop with no ac (an issue I plan to fix before next season) this was a great relief. Additionally, they have a delivery menu that includes bbq done in house that is pretty good.

Group Camping At Its Finest

When I first arrived at Pinson Mound it was a little before the park itself closed, to late for me to really go explore the site so I instead had to return the second day.

When I did I was able to see that there was a group camp available in the property which was quite a nice area indeed. Only those staying in this area are allowed to stay within the park after sunset and with limited number of groups welcomed at a time this makes for a very intimate one of a kind experience.

Despite traveling alone on this trip I wanted to inquire about the requirements for this site and was quickly told that it is by reservation only so you have to plan in advance to be allowed to stay on property. There are NO after hours arrivals accepted without reservation.

This is more of a day use facility for the most part for the average person. They do have nice picnic shelters, playgrounds and of course the archeological site itself.

For those which do attain permissions for group site camping there are several regulations regarding location of camp and activities of allowance. I can say that after being at the property it would be a little eerie to stay here at night because of the Native American history.

Group sites are very well equipped and are a flat rate of $200 per evening with reservation only. These are cabins which are arranged nicely in a landscaped area close to the big mound. Keys are issued to those staying for their site and early arrival is suggested.

TIPS:

  • Call do not simply go online to obtain reservations. This will be much more effective.
  • Visit the BIG mound, it is a lot of steps but has the most amazing view of the entire park and will make you realize just how tall it really is when you get to the top!
Short Term CampGround

This campground is clean and the managers are nice, but it is not a campground you stay at for its amenities.  It is a good location to see all the sights in Memphis or to stay a night or two.  There are also several workers who stay there when certain events are in town.

My Cautionary Tale - The Park Was Beautiful BUT.....

After picking up a brochure in Memphis I made it a point to come to this campground because it looked so inviting with a quaint lake with swimming beach and tent sites nestled right into the woods along the waters.

I drove about an hour and a half to the site passing though a few small towns along the way, but nothing major in way of traffic. It was a pleasant drive with great views of the lands of Tennessee.

When I arrived at around 4:45 the office was already closed which made for a little confusion with getting my site. There was a sign posted about after hours arrivals and to report to the stables where there was a small store. I went there and no one was there either and it then had an additional sign to go to the swimming beach for the concessions area there. Again, no one was there! I found this a little unsettling that even when I was given a basic instruction there was no follow through on the part of the park staff to be in those areas, but I did chalk it up to it being a weekday and perhaps things were run a bit differently.

I followed signs to the tent camping area to see if there were sites available and indeed found there to be no one at the site so I had the entire side of camp to make my selection. The sites were two levels with the upper level being a pull out for your car and the lower being the area with a tent pad and picnic table.

I selected a water facing site without any additional amenities and began to settle in. The bathroom was just up the hill about 50 feet so I checked it out to get a feel of the amenities and was very pleased to find showers and flush toilets. Though I did think it to be a bit strange that despite being the only one at the camp on this side there were wet footprints and it was humid as though someone had just taken a shower.

I went on to set up my tent and after locking up my car took a brief walk across one of the two walking bridges which span the lake. I had taken my Midland radio I am testing on this trip with me and began to scan the channels as I walked because of some pretty crazy clouds that looked like they were coming in. Sure enough a siren blasted through and warned a tornado just south by a ways.

A little rattled I quickly returned to camp, only to find that the wet footprints which I had discovered had an owner who was more than a little sketchy. A car parked just beside the restroom with a man and a woman seemed to be facing my tent watching it. When I came closer to my car, the man exited and started speaking to me. Something didn’t seem right about this person and knowing that the storm was coming, I quickly started disassembling my camp while he continued speaking and began to ask very odd questions like “was I camping alone”.

I don’t know if this is exactly what people want to hear when they read a campground review, but this is the reality of what happens sometimes. I have never been so thankful for a storm because after hearing the man speak and talk about how he “checks up on campers” because he is a local and seeing him try to look into my car while speaking to me without seeming obvious I would have NEVER stayed at this campground. The storm just gave me a good excuse to leave quickly, and because of that I was thankful.

The campground itself was really nice and if I was with a party of people I would give it another shot, maybe even perhaps when it was a busy weekend with other people. But under no circumstances would I return here alone.

Cool Spot!

Fun place…nice camping facilities. You can rent a canoe or bring your own or hike all day! Go to the tower!

This is a great campground. Plenty of space and beautiful hiking trails.

A few of the campsites are a little small for your needs, but there are several that have the perfect amount of space. Definitely will be coming back to this place.

Great for groups

The cabins are nice, and there are great hiking trails

Visit Shelby Forest General Store!

campground was clean, quiet, with playground. Bathrooms were clean. 15 minute drive to the Mississippi R. boat ramp was cool to see! we changed sites because of close neighbors and were accommodated helpfully. the best part was the blue grass music at the Shelby General Store. so much local, authentic fun:)

Quiet family place tucked in the woods.

We go here almost every year in the early spring. It was suggested to us by a friend and we fell in love with it. Its one of our favorite places. A small but spacious campground with a few trails and a lake. Its mostly quiet when we travel there. But I love the scenery. Its also nice that it comes with running water and a restroom hehe.

Big Hill Pond, Tn, State Park

We did some backcountry hiking and camping here, hike was awesome, very peaceful and great for just getting away for a few days.