Fort Pillow State Historic Park is located on the dramatic Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the Mississippi river on the western border of Tennessee. Built by the Confederate troops during the Civil War, the 1,642-acre park is rich in historical and archaeological sites ranging from preserved breastworks to a reconstructed inner fort.
Now a Wildlife Observation Area, the park is also a popular ‘green camping’ destination for both RVs and tents with a trashcan-free policy and recycling schemes. There are both RV-friendly sites and backcountry camping available here.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park is the perfect place to get back into nature. Take a stroll through the butterfly gardens, go hiking on scenic trails, and enjoy bird watching or boating along the lake.
Spend your days here relaxing with a picnic, swimming and boating on the lake, or heading to the park museum for a history lesson and to see artefacts from the Civil War, including a preserved canon.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park can be found on Park Road, off State Highway 207 East. The park is well paved with roads leading to the various hiking trail heads, interpretive center, and the campground. Once you’ve parked your RV, you can get around on foot along the various hiking trails, or by boat on the lake.
Parking is available at various lots in the park, including just before you reach the campground. Overflow parking is available at the butterfly garden and you can park in the campground if you’re staying overnight
The family campground at Fort Pillow State Historic Park consists of 30 campsites in total, six of which are RV-friendly, with electricity and water. The rest of these campsites are made up of 15 sites with electric only, but water stations nearby, and nine primitive sites without electricity, but water stations close by.
Backcountry camping is available along a five-mile hiking trail (the campsite is just a one-mile hike away from the main camp) and you need a permit from the park office to camp here.
A group campsite is located along the Red Historic Trail and boasts a large pavilion with an open area for tents, a full bathhouse, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park is trashcan-free but there is a dump station with dumpster and recycling depot. Other facilities in the park include a boat launch area, picnic area, a gift shop, and a children’s playground.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park is the perfect spot for year-round water sports, but particularly during the summer months. Canoes and kayaks can be rented all year long and life jackets and paddles are provided. You can also hire stand up paddle boards and pedal boats during the summer months. If you have your own non-motorized water sports equipment, feel free to bring them. Free boat launching facilities are available at Sullivan’s Lake boat ramp, but please note that the lake has a no-wake policy.
For those interested in the park’s history, there are interpretive programs held on weekends and during the school holidays in the summer months. Learn all about the American Civil War from the park staff or head to the park museum to watch a 19-minute video on the 1864 Battles and to browse the various exhibitions.
Picnicking is a popular activity at the park for both campers and day visitors. There are two picnic shelters and pavilions at Fort Pillow State Park available for use. You can reserve them ahead of time up to one year in advance. The shelters are equipped with picnic tables, a fire pit and they have access to restrooms.
Hiking enthusiasts will love staying at Fort Pillow State Historic Park. There are 20 miles of hiking trails in the park, such as the nine-mile Red Trail, five-mile Yellow Trail, and the four-mile Blue Trail. Trail maps are available at the park office. All of these trails elad along natural terrain and are moderate.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park is a great spot for fishing. Home to the 27-acre Sullivan’s Pond, anglers can try their luck for bass, bream and crappie that’s stocked frequently. A boat launch ramp means you can launch your fishing boat but you can also enjoy fishing from the shore or the small fishing pier.
Canoes and kayaks are available to rent all year long at Fort Pillow State Historic Park, perfect for some wintertime exploring. The off-season is a great time for bird watching when you can paddle up close to the shore and enjoy the lack of crowds. You can also bring your own canoes or kayaks along to use at the lake.