Lifepoints Adventure Guides are brought to you by the Picky Bars Crew, Athletes, and extended “Family” because we know that the best way to see a new place is with the help of a local. A quick hit of the favorite trails, secret spots*, and refueling venues that need to be “must-sees” for your visit.
The weekly tour will wrap with a fun spin on our past Adventure Grants where one lucky winner will get to live out one of the city guides in person!
Let's visit the small Summer destination of central Tennessee that Picky Team kayaker Nick Troutman calls a part-time home (when their family's not roaming the country in their RV!) Rock Island is a great place for outdoor adventure and homestyle cooking, on or off the water. Take it away, Nick!
* To protect their identity, we've omitted some our most secret hidden gems.
You'll have to track us down in person for that beta...
Nick Troutman paddling on a sunny summer day
Rock Island/ Walling County both border the Caney Fork River which flows through the famous Rock Island State Park and boast many waterfalls, waves and rapids, though none more famous than the Twin Falls. It is the perfect playground for a paddler or adventure seeker with serval hiking trails, running loops, and an epic river with tons of options. This is a summer hotspot (literally) for many people coming from Nashville to this riverside cottage country to beat the heat. Though in its prime when the temps are high, try it out in the offseason - It's a great place to explore year-round with some delicious local food, craft beer, and a few hidden gems for adventure.
⭑ Twin Falls (Surf / Hike)
The best way to start the day off is some freestyle kayaking under the famous Twin Falls. To make it even better, you can experience the sunrise as it comes over the ridge to shine on you while getting some surfs in. This is an ideal park-and-play freestyle spot with easy access, parking, and trails to explore around the wave.
(Kayak experience level - Medium, though check the levels before putting in!)
⭑Falling in Love (Whitewater / Hike)
If the dam is releasing go and check out the Rock Island (Great Falls) Mill falls. There is a hiking loop that goes by the dam, the falls and around a 2.5 mile loop through the wood of the state park. You can also check out the old cotton mill beside the falls, and if you're up for filling your adrenaline you can paddle off this wide 20ft falls.
(Kayak experience level - WHITEWATER EXPERTS ONLY)
⭑ Twin Falls
These cascading waterfalls are the face of the Rock Island State Park. They flow out of the limestone wall and were formed after the dam was built at the turn of the century. After the dam filled up the reservoir the water leaked through the rock and now flows out forming the Twin Falls.
⭑ Rock Island State Park
You can finish your day at the river with a swim or flatwater SUP at the bottom of Rock Island State Park. This makes for an epic evening as you watch the sunset over the canyon and check out some of the local flora and fauna. You can also check out the park, camp out, or get a cabin for the night.
Drop if for some serious local southern cookin'. Breakfast is a must with there eggs, bacon and biscuits and grits. If you are around in the afternoon, it's worth stopping in for an afternoon treat of the daily homemade pie selection. Though the real benefit if the delicious local cooking for a really fair price.
This is the best food around, with top chef and owner Edward cooking up delicious food every night.Make sure to check in what the special of the night might be.
Picky Bars believes, at its core, in a healthy, positive relationship with food. That the best plan is the one that works for YOU, that you can stick to.