PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to being in the path of the Solar Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, Rock Island State Park is expecting larger than usual visitation. If you plan to visit the park, we urge you to arrive early as roads may be congested. Please be aware that areas of the park may be closed at the discretion of park management and if the park reaches capacity, gates will be closed.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFO: Please note swimming or wading is not permitted downstream of the Powerhouse at any time, regardless of water releases. Check TVA’s website for water release information and dam safety data at: www.tva.gov/Environment/Lake-Levels/Great-Falls.
Please read the text below about the Caney Fork River Gorge and Safety Information prior to visiting the park.
Our launch ramp on Center Hill Lake and other ramps closeby on the Caney Fork and Collilns Rivers offer access for great recreational boating. Rock Island is known for it's whitewater kayaking and has hosted international freestyle kayaking events. Some areas of the park are for experienced whitewater kayakers or canoeists only and can be dangerous.
Use extreme caution in all gorge areas. Water levels and currents can change quickly downstream of TVA's powerhouse, or dam without notice. Large amounts of water may be released at any time without warning. Exit immediately if you hear warning sirens or notice changes in conditions. Always wear your PDF and check both generation and dam daily water release schedules for TVA Great Falls prior to visiting. For further information call 800-238-2264 option 4, (#36) or visit http://www.tva.gov/lakes/gfh_r.htm.
The park's natural sand beach is located on the headwaters of the beautiful Center Hill Lake. Adequate parking space and a modern bathhouse are provided. No lifeguards on duty.
Birds such as Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Black-crowned Night Herons can be seen along with Great Blue Herons which have a rookery nearby.
There are four picnicking areas within the park. All are equipped with tables, grills, and drinking water. All have restroom facilities.
Four picnic pavilions that can accommodate 30-100 people each can be reserved for group use. Reservations may be made up to a year in advance.
The park has nine hiking trails with the Caney Fork Gorge area located below the dam being a very popular area for rock hopping, swimming and fishing. This beautiful limestone gorge runs between the Great Falls Dam and the Twin Falls. The area is populated with Great Blue Herons, wildflowers and waterfalls. The Caney Fork Gorge may be accessed via the Old Mill Trail or the Upstream Trail.
Boating and fishing are very popular on Center Hill Lake as well as on Great Falls Lake. There is a free public launching ramp on Great Falls Lake.