Rock Island State Park is an 883 acre park located on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers. The rugged beauty of the park includes the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam. These overlooks are some of the most scenic and significant along the Eastern Highland Rim. Great Falls is a 30 foot horseshoe cascading waterfall, located below the 19th century cotton textile mill that it powered over 100 years ago. Rock Island became a Tennessee State Park in 1969.
Always use caution in the gorge. Water may rise rapidly. Monitor your surroundings. Leave the gorge immediately if water begins to rise or you hear warning sirens. Watch for slick rocks and swift currents. Do NOT jump into water of unknown depths. Swimming or wading is not allowed in all areas from TVA’s powerhouse downstream all the way down to the main beach boat ramp including by the “powerhouse”, “Twin Falls” and “Blue Hole” due to hidden and deadly currents.
The Caney Fork River Gorge contains scenic overlooks, waterfalls, deep pools and limestone paths perfect for hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring. The park’s whitewater sections attract professional freestyle kayakers from around the world. It also features a natural sand beach and boating access on Center Hill Lake.
Rock Island State Park has some of the finest Tennessee State Park cabins. All ten, three bedroom, two bathroom cabins, are open year-round. They are located a half-mile from the natural sand beach along the Caney Fork River. The park also has two campgrounds offering 60 different campsites that can accommodate RVs, trailers and tents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Birds such as Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Black-crowned Night Herons can be seen along with great blue herons which have a rookery nearby.
Rock Island has two campgrounds, with 20 campsites available year-round.
The main campground has 50 sites, (#1-#50), to accommodate RVs and trailers. Some of these sites will also accommodate tents. Each site is equipped with 20,30, 50 amp electrical and water hookups, charcoal grill, fire ring, lantern hanger, and picnic table. Sites #31-#34 also have sewer hookups. Sites #31 and #32 are ADA accessible. There are two bathhouses with hot showers and ADA accessible restrooms. There is a dump station at the far end of the campground. Wi-Fi is available. A picnic pavilion and playground are nearby.
Sites #1-#30 are closed from November 2 through March 15 of every year.
Sites #31-#50 are open year-round. Some of these sites may be used for tents.
TENT ONLY CAMPSITES
The tent only campground has 10 sites (#51-#60), each with 20-amp electrical service, water hookups, lantern hanger, fire ring, charcoal grill and picnic table. A bathhouse with hot water is conveniently located nearby. Most are partially shaded and have a grass surface. The tent only campground is closed from Nov. 2 through March 15, each year.