ALERT: TVA GORGE CLOSURE from Friday, May 19 through the END of JULY.
Due to summer maintenance at the TVA Great Falls Powerhouse, Great Falls Dam will be actively spilling water into the gorge through July 2017 or later. This will result in conditions likely being much different than summers past. When TVA Great Falls Dam is releasing water, visitors cannot safely enter the TVA gorge spillway area.
Visitors are not permitted to enter the gorge (including via the Old Mill Trail or Upstream Trail) during this active spilling period. Some days during this period releases will be moderate and some days flows may be very large with multiple dam gates being open. The water volume may change from hour to hour. The Downstream Trail will remain open due to its elevation above the flood plain. Please note swimming or wading is not permitted downstream of the Powerhouse at any time, regardless of water releases. The park’s sand beach on Center Hill Lake will remain open for swimming. Very large Dam releases upstream can even affect water currents at the sand beach. Please be aware of all of these changing conditions. Obey all park signage for your safety. Check TVA’s website for water release information and further dam safety data at:
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFO: Please read the text below about the Caney Fork River Gorge and Safety Information prior to visiting the park.
Rock Island Go Green
The mission of the Tennessee State Parks Go Green With Us program is to preserve and protect our state parks through sustainable park operations, resource conservation, and recycling. Program components cover a diverse array of initiatives, including energy and water conservation through equipment and operations upgrades, recycling programs, projects to enhance ecosystem health, and erosion control, among many others.
- Rock Island tracks park-wide energy use to identify areas for improvement.
- The park has an exotic invasive removal contract to make the park more habitable for native species which also creates more wildlife habitat. They are also enhancing the ecosystem through butterfly-attracting plants.
- Tent pads are used in the campground to reduce erosion. The pads are man-made surfaces that protect the ground from damage caused by repeatedly setting up a tent in the same spot.
- Drainage improvements at the campground help minimize damage caused by stormwater runoff.
- The park is part of the TVA’s Green Power Switch program.
- The park has installed strategically placed trash and recycling dumpsters in the campground.