What to do in T.O. Fuller State Park

The park was named after Dr. Thomas O. Fuller who spent his life empowering and educating African-Americans during the late 1800's and early 1900's. He was also a minister of a Baptist church, a teacher in a North Carolina public school and a principal at the Shiloh Institute. In 1898, he was the only African-American senator in North Carolina, and he was also an important historical and spiritual writer. Dr. Fuller's activism was not necessarily accepted by all advocates for equality because he was more accommodating in his politics of equality than Dr. King's confrontational tactics. While Dr. King may have disagreed with some of Dr. Fuller's non-confrontational tactics, he would have been proud of Dr. Fuller's dedication and impact he had made in teaching black history and black pride.

When T.O. Fuller State Park opened in 1942 as Shelby Bluffs State Park, it was the first park for African-Americans east of the Mississippi River and the second park for African-Americans in the nation during the early 1940's. This small step towards Dr. Fuller's dream for equality led to a new park name, T.O. Fuller State Park, in honor of Dr. Fuller's life time work for social justice.

The T. O. Fuller State Park Golf Course is located in the southwest corner of Memphis. Gently rolling hills and mature trees dominate this 18-hole golf course. Accented by color-infused scenery and native Tennessee vegetation, this 5,986 yard, par 72 course features wide fairways and Bermuda greens. The course's Signature hole is a 196-yard, Par 3, requiring an accurate tee shot to reach a small elevated green.

This course was honored by the State of Tennessee as the 1998 State Park Golf Course of the Year.

Grassy fields provide for outdoor games such as Frisbee, ball games, and other types of open-space activities. There is a softball field, basketball and tennis courts. Children's playground equipment is located near the picnic area. Hiking, camping and swimming are also available.

From Memphis, the park is on Mitchell Road, west of Exit 7 South to U.S. Highway 61 or Third St., only 11 miles from downtown and 8 miles from Graceland.

Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees. Summer's full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cool fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant fall colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall foliage.

1500 Mitchell Road
Memphis, TN 38109

Phone: 901-543-7581

Fax: 901-785-8485

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