Rock Island State Park RV & Campground Guide


Nestled at the headwaters of the Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers, this 800+ acre Tennessee State Park is the perfect place for watersports of all forms. Whether it’s a serene paddling trip, a fun day of fishing, or just taking a step back to appreciate the rugged beauty of the 30-foot horseshoe cascade known as Great Falls, there’s no end of ways to rest and recharge at Rock Island State Park. 

Along with waterside activities, Rock Island State Park is also home to a network of fun and scenic hiking trails, and it’s also a great place just to enjoy a beautiful Tennessee summer afternoon with a picnic. The park also offers a host of organized activities and events including group paddling outings, nature photography workshops, and more. 

Here’s what you need to know to enjoy your Rock Island State Park adventure!

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Spring 40-79 F
Summer 65-87 F
Fall 37-80 F
Winter 28-52 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is home to two on-site campgrounds, with fifty sites that are accessible to motorhomes and travel trailers. Sites include water and electricity hookups of up to 50 amps of service, as well as fire rings, charcoal grills, lantern hangers, and picnic tables. 

But with rates starting at just $32 per night for RV sites (or $21 for tent campers), it’s no surprise this location fills up quickly! Luckily, there are some other options in the vicinity if you find you’re unable to make reservations.

Psst -- looking for a way to upgrade your camping experience in a flash? Take your next trip in an RVshare RV rental. Our rigs are offered by a trusted network of local owners, and they come in every shape, size, and floorplan imaginable… all at a lower price point than you’re used to seeing from the big box guys. And we guarantee that even a fold-out camper is way better than sleeping on the forest floor… just sayin’!

Happy Camper Campground

Offering both tent and RV camping and with several waterfront sites on offer, Happy Camper Campground is the first place to look if the state park campsites have sold out. This no-frills establishment offers all the basics you need to enjoy your stay, including a boat ramp and a bath house.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: n/a

  • Wifi: n/a

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: boat ramp, bath house

Horseshoe Bend Marina and Campground

Whether you’re docking your boat, renting an on-site glamping tent, or, yes, pulling up in your very own private getaway vehicle, Horseshoe Bend Marina and Campground has accommodations close to the state park that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready for adventure. (Oh, and did we mention it’s nestled into a particularly beautiful section of Tennessee countryside?)

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: n/a

  • Wifi: n/a

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: bath house with showers, boat rentals, boat ramp, on-site store and more

RV Rentals Near Rock Island State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Rock Island State Park

Inside Rock Island State Park

It doesn’t take more than a single glance at a picture of Rock Island State Park to understand what draws its visitors. With stunning waterscapes including breathtaking cascades and serene riverfronts, why wouldn’t you want to go?

That said, if you’re wondering what keeps adventurers busy after their arrival, here are just a few activities to consider.

Boating and paddling - This park is at the confluence of not two, but three major Tennessee rivers, so if you’re looking for a place to test your favorite watercraft, this is it! Serene paddling trips are common (and often organized by the park itself), but Rock Island is also a renowned whitewater kayaking area, and has even hosted several international freestyle kayaking events.

Fishing - Properly licensed Tennessee fisherfolk can enjoy the plentitude of this area, which is a spawning ground for walleye and one of the best places to fish in the state. Along with walleye, anglers also reel up bass, muskellunge, bluegill, crappie, and catfish.

Swimming - There’s no better way to beat the Tennessee heat than to take a quick dip, and with a natural sand beach complete with onsite parking and a modern bathhouse, there’s no better place to do it than Rock Island.

Hiking - If you’re more of the landfaring type, take heart: Rock Island State Park offers a network of nine hiking trails with beautiful, unique views of the limestone-lined Caney Fork Gorge.

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How to Get to
Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is located conveniently between the two major Tennessee cities of Nashville and Chattanooga, and is only twenty minutes or so from the smaller community of McMinnville. You can find your way to the park by entering the following address into your navigational system:

Rock Island State Park

82 Beach Road

Rock Island, Tennessee 38581

Entering Rock Island State Park

Like all state parks in Tennessee, Rock Island State Park is completely free to enter! Of course, campground fees do apply if you stay overnight, and there is a charge associated with renting the on-site cabins.

Whether it’s Rock Island State Park or another Tennessee destination -- or even somewhere further afield -- we can’t wait to hear all about the adventures you take in your RVshare rental vehicle. Tag us in your social media posts or send us photos and stories directly at [email protected]. We’ll choose some lucky winners to feature on our own social media channels, or on the RVshare blog!

Frequently Asked Questions About Rock Island State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Rock Island State Park?

The second campground for tent-only camping is closed from early November through mid-March. The rocks can also be very slippery and dangerous after rains, so March 15 through October on dry days appear to be your best window.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Rock Island State Park?

Birding is a very popular activity at Rock Island State Park and its environs. You can see great blue herons, osprey, belted kingfishers, black vultures and night herons. A great blue heron rookery is nearby the park.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Rock Island State Park?

The main campground has 50 sites that are available for RVs and trailers. These sites are available year-round. All have electrical and water hook-ups. Eight sites have sewer hook-ups. There is also a dump station.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Rock Island State Park and what is the cost?

You do have to reserve a camping spot at Rock Island State Park. The cost varies depending on the time of the year and the availability. At press time in July, the cost was around $40 per night.

Are pets allowed at Rock Island State Park?

Pets appear to be allowed, but you would definitely want to have them on a leash, especially at the dam and the confluence of the three rivers that create spectacular falls. Listen for warning sirens when the water levels will rise as well.