Rock Island State Park is an 883-acre park home to rugged scenery and a beautiful 30-foot waterfall aptly named Great Falls. Nestled at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins, and Rocky Rivers, this park is full of natural rocky trails, wetlands, sandy beaches, and a variety of activities, making it possible for any family to find a good time at Rock Island.
In the late 1800s, the Great Falls powered an old cotton mill that was located just above the dam. The park was officially opened in 1969 and now attracts visitors and RV campers from all over the country keen to experience the awe-inspiring landscape of Caney Fork Gorge. Eager to see the park for yourself? Rent an RV in Warren County and start planning your great escape to Rock Island State Park.
Whitewater kayaking is a particularly popular attraction at Rock Island State Park thanks to the rocky terrain and stunning waterfalls. There are multiple boat launches where experienced kayakers can launch out into the swift rapids. Boat rentals aren't available at the park, so you'll need to bring your own watercraft or rent a boat elsewhere.
The park's ten-mile hiking trail network, offering views of the limestone bedrock running right between the Great Falls Dam and the Twin Falls, is what draws many to Rock Island. The park has nine trails showcasing the park's natural rock formations, wildflowers, waterfalls, wildlife. A visitors' favorite is the half-mile Blue Hole Trail. Though short, this trail is strenuous, but the views of the park's flora make the challenge worth it.
For those who love fishing, The Blue Hole is known as one of the finest fishing spots in Tennessee. Here, you have the chance of catching catfish, crappie, bluegill, walleye, bass, and muskellunge.
Photography is an easy and fun activity at Rock Island State Park for professionals and amateurs alike. Unsurprisingly, many visitors take a keen interest in the Great Falls, while others find as much beauty in the park's serene woodlands.
Camping at Rock Island State Park
The park offers two somewhat open campgrounds with woodlands surrounding the area. The main campground at Rock Island State Park has a total of 50 sites, 20 of which are available year-round for guests camping in an RV or tent. Also offered year-round are two accessible sites and restroom facilities for campers with disabilities. Each campsite comes with a fire ring, charcoal grill, and lantern hangers. Both electrical and water hookups are available for RV campers, and leashed pets are welcome. The other campground is designated for tent campers only.
Near the campsites, you'll find picnic pavilions, playgrounds, seasonal dump stations, and hot showers. Wi-Fi is also available, but the connection can be spotty in places.
Though many enjoy RV camping at Rock Island State Park, if you prefer cabin camping, you're in luck. There are ten beautiful cabins at Rock Island State Park. Each comes with a fireplace, coffee pot, stove, utensils, and a charcoal grill.
Exploring the Area
Burgess Falls State Park sits only a half-hour from Rock Island State Park, and if you enjoyed Rock Island, you'll want to explore Burgess Falls, too. Many visitors choose to camp in their motorhome or tent to fully experience this breathtaking area, home to a mile-long trail with four gorgeous waterfalls that cascade up to 130 feet.
Virgin Falls State Natural Area offers yet more trails and waterfalls to explore. A nine-mile out-and-back trail leads hikers to the park's namesake falls. Wildlife is abundant in this 1,100-acre wilderness, which also offers other cool things to see along the way, such as shorter trails and several caves.
Edgar Evins State Park is located just under an hour from Rock Island. More than 6,000 acres of park and wildlife stretches along the shore of Center Hill Lake. This park offers 60 campsites, cabins around the lake, and 11 miles of nature trails. Boating, birding, fishing, and hiking are some of the most popular activities here. Other exhilarating events at the park include sunset cruises, photography days, and camp days for young children.
Although not quite as close to Rock Island, Nashville is still a must-visit for RV campers traveling in Tennessee, and it's less than two hours away. Around 14 million people visit Nashville each year, whether for the Grand Ole Opry, the Parthenon, or for the city's musical history. Rent an RV in the Nashville area and explore the city's amazing food, music, and historical buildings. The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville Zoo, and the Museum of Art are attractions you'll want to add to your itinerary.