By Cassandra M. Vanhooser
Rock Island gets its name from an island that was formed by the merging of two rivers – the Caney Fork and the Collins. But the name doesn’t do the park justice.
The namesake rock is now submerged, swamped by the building of the Great Falls Dam. Yet, vast gorges and cascading waterfalls remain. These are the features that truly define this 883-acre state park.
Indeed, Mother Nature puts on her finest show here, and the result is a playground for nature lovers. Don’t go to Rock Island without a bathing suit. The park has swimming holes aplenty, as well as a natural sand beach at the edge of the Center Hill reservoir.
A multitude of waterfalls make for great canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Hiking trails crisscross the park too. The shortest is a mere half-mile, while other longer paths take you along the river’s edge and past overlooks for awe-inspiring views.
For more information, call 1-800-713-6065 or visit park’s website.