Friday, September 4, 2009

Rock Island State Park

In the gorge
Originally uploaded by TheTurducken
Oops! I thought I had posted this, but I didn't.

Last weekend we camped out at Rock Island State Park - the one in Tennessee, not the one in Illinois. The camping spots are nothing special, and there aren't any long hikes. (The longest one is Collins River Trail, which is three miles and not especially interesting.) However, it makes up for that in beauty.

This photo is from the Caney Fork Gorge trail. You start at the Twin Falls Overlook and take stairs down to the gorge. This photo was taken near the base of the stairs. From there, you head downstream in the river, hopping rocks and occasionally getting wet, until you get to the big waterfalls. At the falls you can swim and generally frolic. After the fact, someone told me there were a lot of snakes in the water, but we didn't notice any.

We also hiked the Eagle Trail, a short hike I've done before. It goes through attractive woods to end up at Blue Hole along the river. There are a lot of other things to do - boating, tennis, ping-pong, horseshoes - we went swimming on the swim beach, and a couple of friends took their kayaks out.

The park proved to be the perfect place to relax for the weekend. If I wanted to do hardcore hiking, there are other places I'd recommend over it - Frozen Head would head up the list - but Rock Island is nice for relaxing or keeping a family with diverse interests happy.

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