Situated along the Caney Fork, Great Falls are a set of three 30-foot tall waterfalls located in the 883-acre Rock Island State Park, on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. At the base, it’s almost like being in a rainforest, with moss everywhere. In order to stay dry, I came from across the river, with some creative rock hopping, though many people in the summer simply wade through waist-deep water to access this beautiful area. Prints available.
Hiking into and through the gorge, finding my way across rocks scattered along Caney Fork, I approached what is called Great Falls – a collection of three waterfalls, each standing 30-feet tall. This photograph is a sideview showing only the edge of the front falls, with cliff-walls covered in layers of moss and ferns. See available prints.
Located near Spencer, Tennessee, the Rock Island State Park has 883-acres along the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers. It also features the rugged beauty of an expansive Caney Fork Gorge.
On my first visit to the park, I learned that, in order to access the base of Great Falls, a 30-foot horseshoe cascading waterfall, one should expect to get wet. Most folks in the gorge on the south side of the Caney Fork River near the waterfall are there to swim in a large plunge pool, sporting water shoes and swim attire. Keeping dry can be difficult and entails carefully navigating a very slippery, narrow and moss-covered non-flat surface.
Recalling my previous experience, I decided that, this time, I’d attempt to access the area via a trail originating from across the river, near the Twin Falls parking area. There were several signs along the way stating, ‘No Access Above Falls’, indicating that I was probably headed in the right direction. Beyond a pond and across a forested hillside, I was able to traverse a series of rocks in the river, which led me to the base of the waterfalls – and, I stayed dry!
Photographs 1 & 2 were taken looking back at the trail which I had hiked moments earlier.
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