August Waterfalls Before the Drought

Twin Falls, Rock Island State Park, Tennessee.  August 3, 2002.

Twin Falls, Rock Island State Park, Tennessee. August 3, 2002.

As you know, Betsy and I love to visit waterfalls. While we were both working we visited mostly in the summer, when we had vacation time. Now that we’re both retired we can more easily get away any time of the year, which is a good thing since we’ve had drought in this part of the country for the past two years. As a result most waterfalls have a very diminished flow during the summer.

It wasn’t always that way. Betsy and I first visited Rock Island State Park here in Tennessee in 2002. Rock Island is fairly close to Fall Creek Falls State Park, which is our favorite here in Tennessee. We knew there were three waterfalls at Rock Island and we wanted to see them.

What we didn’t realize at the time was that a dam had been built across the Caney Fork River above two of the falls, so the amount of water going over the falls is completely determined by the dam discharge. The waterfalls, Great Falls and Lower Great Falls, were still pretty but somewhat disappointing.

The third waterfall, Twin Falls, is interesting. Twin Falls gushes down a steep hillside into the Caney Fork River. But this waterfall only appeared after the Great Falls Dam was built. The Collins River is immediately behind the hill from the Caney Fork, and it is speculated that as the Collins River water level rose water began seeping into caverns thought to be inside the hill. The water had to go somewhere, so it proceeded to “leak” out the other side, forming Twin Falls.

To see more of our visit to Rock Island, click HERE.

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