If July is any indication of what August is going to be like, we're in for a hot one! My favorite way to stay cool on hot southern days is exploring waterfalls! For the next few weeks, I'll be highlighting some cool ways to stay cool with Waterfall Wednesday, beginning with one of my very favorites. . .
A couple weeks ago Jessie B. Wallace, Brittany Ray, and I got together for a girls day! But not your typical girls day. There were no manicures or mimosas (though we do occasionally enjoy those things), just the open road and the sweet call of adventure. We got up early, found our swimsuits, laced up our tennisshoes, packed a cooler, and headed out to Rock Island, Tennessee. Our adventure sparked my idea to share some of my favorite waterfalls just a day trip out from Music City.
This waterfall may look like its from some tropical hideaway, but in reality it's only an hour and forty-five minutes outside of Nashville, Tennessee!
When we first arrived at the parking lot for Twin Falls, we were disappointed that the upper part of the river was closed, which was the area we did most of our exploring on the last trip Jessie and I made with my church two years prior. However, we did not let this put a damper on our adventure! We parked it on the benches overlooking the waterfall above and picnicked before exploring the Down River Trail. We made our way through the little over a mile long hike, taking in the overlooking views of the river winding between the bluffs, the trickling smaller waterfalls in the woods, and dipping our feet in at the little beach like area at the end of the trail. But we didn't come this far just to dip our feet in.
The last time we visited Rock Island, we explored the Up River Trail. The upper side of the river is full of swimming holes, cliffs to climb, and rapids to shoot if you bring an inner tube or pool float! Its a great place to picnic, swim, and just kick back and relax by the water.
This time we went, we had to get a little more creative if we wanted to get really near the falls. So we hopped off the trail and skirted our way along the rocks of the land mass that juts out at the base of the falls, splashed our way through the water in places (this is where water shoes/old tennisshoes are necessary!), and worked our way through the bushes, ivy, and trees until we came here:
There is nothing like standing at the base of a rushing waterfall. In the heat of July, I don't think anything could feel as refreshing as the cold mist of the water blowing across your face. That is, except maybe actually getting in that refreshingly cold water. . .
Rock Island girls day was an absolute blast! The place is truly a hidden gem (you take several tiny back roads to get there) and far too good of a secret for me to keep to myself!
Ready to head out to Rock Island this weekend? Here are some helpful tips!
Put Twin Falls in you gps/maps app. If you just put in Rock Island, it will take you to a different part of the park. You're looking for Twin Falls, which is off of Powerhouse road. If you park where we parked, you should be able to see the falls from you car.
Also, if you need snacks, gas, a restroom, etc. there is a ONE gas station/tackle shop/restaurant called Rock Island Market where Rock Island Rd and Great Falls Rd meet. So if you need something, you better stop here! It looked like there were a couple cute riverside restaurants tucked along the way and the Rock Island Visitor Center (at the other end of the park) has a restroom, but there is not a lot out there. So take advantage of the opportunity before you head to the falls, because once you get there you won't want to leave! Also, we went on a Sunday and Rock Island Market closed early. You would not want to run out of gas. It's a lovely area, just sort of in the middle of nowhere.
Beyond that, here's what you'll need:
An inner tube or pool float
A sense of adventure
Happy waterfalling everyone!