Rock Island is a Tennessee State Park located southeast of Nashville. It’s about a 2-hour drive from downtown. Alex and I have made a couple trips to local waterfalls so far and each has been a blast. It’s incredible to me that Tennessee features so many waterfalls. According to tnlandforms.us (a geological study from the University of Tennessee), there are 659 waterfalls in the state. Not all of these are State Parks, but it speaks to the landscape of Tennessee.
We knew ahead of time maintenance was being done on the river. This would mean that some of the better trails would be closed, we decided to make the trip anyway. We started with an overlook at great falls. Even though we couldn’t venture into the gorge, it was incredible to see the great falls with the Dam wide open.
From there we ventured to the opposite side of the river to the downstream trail. We were hopeful that we might get some good scenery from there; not to mention, we had promised Ian he could throw rocks into the waterfall. Once we started down the trailhead, we found a small path that led to the river. We decided to venture down rather than hike the entire downstream trail. The hike was only about 1/5 mile, however, it was very rocky and steep. This makes hikes a little difficult with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. We let Ian do much of the hiking on his own, he was a champion. We captured a few good pictures while on this path. Luckily we ran into a few others to take our picture.
From here, we had to do some actual climbing to get to the river. It’s difficult to tell in the picture above, but we were still about 20ft above the water line. Luckily we were able to find a series of rocks that shaped stairs (of sorts). Ian finally got to throw his rocks!
While throwing rocks, Alex spotted a snake right beside her and Ian! I happened to be taking a video at the time. If you look just to the left of Alex when I’m moving the camera, you can barely make out the snake. She was very close to it!
We didn’t get a good look so we assumed the worst (something poisonous), we decided to get Ian and Clara as far away as quickly as possible. We hiked back up the trail. Ian was a rock star, he got all the way out with little to no help at all!
Overall it was a fun trip. Short, but fun. We plan on making another trip out once the better trails are opened back up.