T.O. Fuller SP Is a decent campground situated 5 miles from Graceland and about 15 minutes (by car) from downtown Memphis. If you are concerned about staying in South Memphis, this state park is not for you. However, it is surprisingly decent compared to what you would assume based on its location.
TO fuller state park is expansive and has a state park feel to it. The campground is secluded and has 35-38 campsites. All campsites have 30/50 amp electric, water, picnic table, fire ring and trash hooks. There are no sewer hook ups, but there are two dump stations. This is helpful on busier weekends. The bathhouse is situated in the center of the campground and it has been updated. We did not use it and it was closed due to the pandemic. There is also an updated playground in the campground area that looks very nice. Many of the sites are level and there are a few pull through sites. Several large RVs and travel trailers were able to comfortably fit in these campsites.
There are several hiking trails, a swimming pool (in season), and a native American history Museum (Chulissa) that is very popular. Most of the facilities were closed, but we were able to hike and enjoyed it. The visitor center staff and Park Rangers were all helpful and very friendly. The visitor center has a number of state park items for purchase. If you are a person that collects patches, stickers, or clothing of the state park you visit visit, TO Fuller’s visitors center has everything you could need.
In summary, TO Fuller State Park is surprisingly beautiful for its location, but if you cannot get past its location then it is not a good place for you to try and stay. However, if its location doesn’t bother you, you’ll enjoy your weekend and a pretty 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.
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.
This is a beautiful park with lots of trees and Robert the camp host was nice and helpful. There is a museum on site. Clean rr's and free ice machine
Clean place near or in town. A little pricey $28day rate. Laundry & bath were good. Nice place for kids to play. Some small level of privacy. Close to industrial area, so there was sometimes a smell. Not super close, but close enough to downtown. No cell and almost no digital TV service.
I wish we had nicer camping in Memphis, but unfortunately we don’t. We came here for the hiking trail. The trail is nice during the cold months, but being this close to the river and the Memphis humidity, I can’t even begin to imagine how awful the bugs are during the warmer months. Only a few campers were here at the time we visited, and 2 of them looked like they had been here for months, if not longer. It’s not in the best area of town either. A lot of people do love to come here to enjoy the pool during the summer though! Chucalissa Museum is worth checking out if you are here.
Great, spacious sites. Cicadas will drive you mad (even with earplugs I struggled to sleep but can't do anything about them..just fyi). Cleanest bathhouse..gotta compliment the cleaning crew, but they need fans in them to move the stagnant air.
Washer/dryer worked well. Quiet area. No firewood to purchase (they were out??) and couldn't find any local sellers close by but a walk into the woods enabled us to have a fire.
Rec'd reduced swim passes and the kids enjoyed the pool area.
We camp here often just to get out of the house. The campground is well maintained with a clean bathhouse and fairly spacious RV sites. The playground is right in the center of the camp site loop. There are trails that run through the woods around the campground, though they could use a little more foot traffic to keep them clearly marked. The one issue that you will read about in every review is the smell of the close by dump. We have camped here a lot, and have only experienced the smell once. It definitely takes away from the beauty and quiet of this small campground, but depending on the weather and wind, you won’t be bothered with it often. You do have to drive through some of Memphis’ not-so-nice neighborhoods to get here, but once you get there, you would never know that you are in Memphis! We love this campground for a quick and easy get away with fast access to all that Memphis has to offer.
While the perks of this campground include the proximity to Memphis and spacious sites. The campground was pretty quiet and everything seemed clean and well kept. The downsides outweigh these positives though… The tent camping area was not private. There were some trees, but they were in the RV area of the park. The thing that turned us off the most though, was a terrible smell which we learned is from a sewage treatment plant very close to the park :(