With mystifying waterways and wondrous gorges, Rock Island State Park in Tennessee is a stunning destination you won’t want to miss on your next RV adventure. You can explore 883 acres of untamed natural beauty that surrounds Center Lake Hill at the convergence of three waterways. There are many natural wonders to discover at this incredible state park, including the 30-foot cascading waterfall of the Great Falls, the splendid cascade waterfall of Twin Falls, and the rocky waterway of the Caney Fork Gorge.
Beyond its rustic beauty of waterfalls that flow over rocky landscapes, you can enjoy many fun-filled outdoor activities during your stay at Rock Island State Park. If you enjoy boating you’ll be in for a treat since you can coast along Center Hill Lake, Caney Fork, and Collins Fiver. If you’re up for a challenge, go whitewater kayaking on the park’s captivating waters. Swimming and fishing are popular pastimes on the stunning Center Hill Lake and Great Falls Lake. Rock Island State Park is also a haven for hikers, with nine hiking trails to explore along limestone gorges and untamed forests. If you enjoy wildlife viewing and birding, look out for many unique creatures that call Rock Island State Park home like osprey and great blue herons.
With sunny summers and mild winters, Rock Island State Park is a prime spot for RVers any time of year. You can enjoy temperatures in the 70s and 80s in the spring and summer, while the winter cools down into the 40s and 50s. Rock Island State Park has been enchanting visitors since 1969, thanks to its rugged beauty and Southern charm.
RV Rentals in Rock Island State Park
Transportation in Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park is located in Warren and White counties, just off of Route 70S. Local roads within the park will take you anywhere you want to go, from the campground and beach to the Nature Center and picnic areas. There is no restriction for driving RVs or trailers within the park, although some of the smaller roads may be narrow and slightly winding.
Parking is easy to find within the park, with parking areas located at key spots. You can find parking at the Visitor Center, campgrounds, beach, and picnic areas. Parking for large RVs and trailers may be limited within certain areas and can fill up quickly during the peak season.
Campgrounds and parking in Rock Island State Park
Campsites in Rock Island State Park
The Main Campground features 50 sites that accommodates RVs, trailers, and tents. Each site has hookups for water and electricity. Two of the sites also offer sewer hookups. You will enjoy use of a fire ring, charcoal grill, picnic table, and lantern hanger at your site. You’ll also have access to restrooms, hot showers, wi-fi accessibility, a dump station, and playground. Sites 31 to 50 are open year-round, while sites 1-30 are open from March until November. The campground is close to the Nature Center and trail heads. You can stay for a maximum of up to 2 weeks.
There are no First-Come, First-Served campgrounds at Rock Island State Park.
Rock Island State Park features a tent only campground, if you prefer to leave your rig and pitch a tent. These sites feature electric service, water hook ups, charcoal grills, picnic tables, fire rings, and lantern hangers. You’ll enjoy a shady spot on a serene grassy knoll. You’ll also have access to a bathhouse with hot water nearby. This campground is open from November to March. If you stay at this campground you’ll be close to picnic areas and a hiking trail.
If you want to park your RV off-site you can stay at one of the 10 cabins at this state park that are located near the sandy beach of the Caney Fork River. These cabins have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. They feature appliances, a microwave, coffeepot, cooking utensils, dishes and linens. You can also use a fireplace with gas logs, charcoal grill, DVD player, and a TV in the cabin. Two of the cabins are pet-friendly.
If you prefer to stay outside of the park there are plenty of private campgrounds and RV parks to choose from in Sparta, Crossville, Pikeville, and the surrounding areas. These private accommodations will range from rustic to resort-like experience. They may also provide modern amenities such as cable TV, wireless internet, and swimming pools
Seasonal activities in Rock Island State Park
Exploring the Waterfalls and Gorges
Rock Island State Park is full of natural wonders, so once you park your rig you’ll want to explore the over 800 acres of rugged beauty. The Caney Fork River Gorge is a must with scenic overlooks where you can see amazing waterfalls and deep pools. The Great Falls is enchanting site you won’t want to miss, as cascading waterfalls stream down jagged rocks. Twin Falls is another spectacular waterfall, with two or more streams of fast-falling water that is a sight you won’t want to miss.
You’ll want to make sure you pack your fishing gear in your trailer travel since you can bait your hook at the beautiful Center Hill Lake and Great Falls Lake. You’ll love fishing in one of the best spots in the state where you can catch catfish, walleye, bluegill, crappie, bass, and muskellunge.
Rock Island State Park is a mecca for hikers, so once your park your rig you can venture out on any of the nine hiking trails. Catch majestic views of the Caney Fork Gorge, Great Falls Dam, and Twin Falls during your hikes. For a 3-mile moderate hike, take the Collins River Nature Trail that follows the riverbank where you can spot deer and woodpeckers. If you’re up for a more strenuous hike, take a trek on the .5-mile Blue Hole Trail, which extends along a waterfall where you can see lovely wildflowers, ferns, and mosses.
You’ll love the chance to park your RV and head on over to the natural sandy beach of Center Hill Lake. You can swim at your leisure while enjoying the use of a modern bathhouse on-site. Beat the summer heat in the cool waters of the lake.
If you are into boating or kayaking you will love a motorhome vacation to Rock Island State Park! There are boat launches located on Center Hill Lake, Caney Fork River, and Collins River where you can cruise your boat through the wondrous waterways of the park. Rock Island State Park is also well-known for whitewater kayaking, so you’ll be in for an adventure of a lifetime if you give that a try.
Visitor Center and Nature Center
If you want to learn more about the amazing natural history and rich heritage of the park, be sure to drive your RV over to the Visitor Center or Nature Center. You can see fascinating exhibits or talk with expert rangers to learn about the incredible natural features and wildlife that call the park home.
If you make an RV trip to Rock Island State Park during the off-season you can still take a guided hike, as they are regularly scheduled throughout the year. These guided hikes will take you through some of the most picturesque spots in the park like Twin Falls. You’ll learn about the inspiring nature all around you from expert rangers as you take a trek through some of Tennessee’s most scenic sites.
Rock Island State Park is a perfect spot for photographers thanks to its rugged beauty and amazing natural features. The Caney Fork River Gorge, Twin Falls, and Great Falls are excellent spots to take some one-of-a-kind pictures of cascading waterways over jagged rocks. No matter what time of year you visit you’ll want to make sure you bring your camera so you don’t miss the chance to capture memorable pictures.
Wildlife Viewing and Birding
Don’t forget to pack your binoculars in your RV because you will love the chance to go wildlife viewing and birding at Rock Island State Park. There are many amazing critters that call this enchanting state park home, such as white-tailed deer. Birders can spot a number of bird species including woodpeckers, osprey, belted kingfisher, and great blue herons.
Once you’ve enjoyed your long outdoor day during your RV vacation to this serene state park, enjoy a quiet picnic at one of the park’s four picnic areas. All of these picnic areas feature tables, grills, drinking water, and restrooms. You’ll love enjoying some delicious food while taking in the tranquil sites all around you.