Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located in middle Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau, Rock Island State Park is a unique and unforgettable destination. Although you'll find nine total trails in the park with waterfalls spread about, the Blue Hole is a magical spot itself.

Located in the Caney Fork River Gorge, the area can be inaccessible and unsafe at times, but more often it's an incredible escape from the crowd. Although swimming is not permitted in the area, you will have plenty opportunities to cool off and will find yourself ankle deep in water on many sections of the trail—a perfect situation for a hot and humid Tennessee summer day, but something to definitely be prepared for during the cooler months.

As you make your way down the steps, located a few hundred feet from the parking area, you'll immediately notice the gorgeous walls of water that make this hike amazing. The majestic Twin Falls, located upstream from the Blue Hole, exits from a nearby lake that was created when a dam was built. An unexpected effect of its construction, cascades were formed when water filled underground caverns and flowed over the walls of the gorge.

The hike to Blue Hole is 1 mile round trip, but it can be tricky in some spots. Supervise children on the trail and be prepared to leave with wet feet. Once you finish up, head up to the parking area at the Great Falls Overlook for access to more of the gorge. The trail to the base of the falls there is also filled with a tropical vibe, cascading water, and rock hopping opportunities. Swimming is permitted, when safe, at the base of the waterfall. Regardless of what area of the Caney Fork River Gorge you choose to explore, stay safe and walk away from an adventure that you'll always remember!

Check conditions of the Caney Fork River Gorge before hiking. There are times when, due to unsafe conditions, the gorge is closed to public access.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Waterfalls. Geological features. Wildflowers. Fishing. Solitude.

Cons

No swimming. Possible unsafe conditions.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Wildflowers
Geologically significant
Waterfalls
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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