Great Falls, Rock Island State Park

by Randall R. Foshee
(Smyrna, TN)

Great Falls 20' in the Fall

Great Falls 20' in the Fall

If you want a pretty nice waterfall to photograph without any trouble getting there, this is a great one to see and easy to get to.
It's in Rock Island State Park about 10 miles Northeast of McMinnville heading out highway 70S. Watch for the signs and you'll see how to get there off of 70S once you are in the area. You'll end up taking 136 off of 70S and then turn left onto Great Falls Road. Yep, you guessed it. You don't need to turn off of this road until you get there. Watch closely because you'll see an old grain mill that will almost look like you are going to drive right into it, as you drive just around it, be ready, because right on the back side of that mill is a parking area, plenty of parking usually. Once inside the parking area, it's just a matter of getting out of your car walking over about 50' to the viewing area. You look across and the falls are right there! Bring a tripod and a CPL. You'll need them. I took this picture when the water was lower. Sometimes they open the damn and there is more water that comes through. But I thought it was great the way it was. You can also walk to the left of the falls about 200' and you'll come across a trail that switches back and forth to the lower area where you can shoot some cascades and other falls that are hard to see from the upper vantage point. Just be ready, when you hear the warning sound, be ready to pack up, because in about an hour or so, they are going to open the damn, and you DON'T want to be down there when they do, unless you are superman! There are six other waterfalls in that state park including Twin Falls, a double water fall that's 80' tall with 100's of other tiny waterfalls that come pouring out of the rocks to the right of Twin Falls. You will have to take Powerhouse Road to get to Twin Falls. It's a tiny road, that you think you went the wrong way on, but then the powerhouse is suddenly right there, with plenty of parking. Please keep in mind, I decided to make the water bluer with Photoshop then it actually is. It's a rather moss green color actually.

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