The river left eddy is interesting due to the "waterfall" that drops into it. This falls is
actually shooting thru the cliff on river left. This water is coming from the backwaters of
Great Falls Lake and the Collins River on the other side of the cliff.
At the bottom of the wavetrain is the infamous Rock Island rodeo hole. The hole is fairly
friendly at 2000 cfs, and rather munchy at a full release of 3800 cfs. Most get intimidated
around 7500. Beware catching the left eddy, as the left wall is undercut and the
eddyline feeds right into it.
Depending on the lower lake levels there may be two or three more small rapids below
the rodeo hole. The next rapid contains a wave that is surfable at higher flows, but just
above a dangerously undercut wall.
Warning - much of the channel flows into this wall. Get swimmers right.
Walk back up or take out in Rock Island State Park 'boat launch'
After rains: Starting at the base of the dam there is a 20' shelf with 0, one, or several lines
dependant on the flow.. Check with the locals for more detailed info. 4200 minimum for
'the spout'; other lines (Mill-side and swing-side) start up around 4800. The rapid below
constricts the river and the 3 holes can be violent. The rock is sharp and unstable, watch
for seives in the first rapid. At flows above 10,000 the holes wash but the right wall at the
bottom becomes a concern. There must be water flowing over the dam for the falls
section to be running.
From South Nashville or Chattanooga: Take I-24 South from Nashville or I-24 North from
Chattanooga and exit at Hwy 55 in Manchester, the McMinnville/Tullahoma exit.
Proceed North on Hwy 55 toward McMinnville. In McMinnville, Hwy 55 will turn into the
70S bypass. Continue on the bypass through McMinnville and go 12 miles North of
McMinnville and take a left on hwy 136. Go about 1 mile and take a left on 287 in
entrance which will be on the right.
Rock Island State
From Boatertalk: Rock Island Info: Go to this website.
Look up Great Falls.
1 generator will provide a level of 1400 to 1800cfs. It's ok. Top wave is sweet, but no eddy service. The 'hole' is more of a small wave. Generally speaking, it's not worth a long drive for this level, but still fun.
2 generators will give you a level of 2900 to 3800. The lower end, the top wave is still good, and the hole is kicking. At the higher end, the top wave starts to flush, but others come in at the falls, and the hole is STOMPIN!
Notice the upper lake level. When it reaches 803' or so with more water coming in, they start to spill. Top of the gates is 804'. Look for the message 'Great Falls is Spilling'. Levels around 5000 to 6000 are prime. Several spots to run the falls. I've been out there around 11000, but you gotta watch the back wash. Sieve City is a no joke rapid. It has this name for a reason.
Sad to say that Brave Wave is no longer there. There are always unexplored waves and holes in the rapids leading down to the boat ramp in Rock Island State Park.
Although this site and boatingbeta list 2000 as the minimum, the main hole is still playable down to at least ~1300 (1 generator); it's not nearly as big or as impressive as at 2 generators, but there's still something there to be had.
Clay and I paddled Rock Island Dryway at 30,000 cfs today- BIG! New
Date: Mar 08 2004, 0:16 GMT
Super fun high action- Steep drop at 30,000 cfs. Highest it has ever been run and quite intense!
Glad Clay is here!
To help determine levels:
Rock Island is rain dependent after the
When Center Hill Resevoir (TVA page) is
above 650. feet the hole is washed out. They
have recently been holding Center Hill higher
than they used to after periods of rain.
The gauge is on the TVA phone reading for
Great Falls Dam.
1-800-238-2264, press 4 (Release Schedule),
then press 36 (for Great Falls Dam).
TVA River Information by Phone.
TVA Great Falls Dam Release Info.
2000 cfs might be a minimum.
3800 cfs is the usuall full release.
Above 4000 cfs its a REALLY BIG hole.
When Center Hill is low 'Brave Wave" forms
below, surfable from 3200 to 15,000.
Waterfalls run between 4200 and 6500 -
big holes form higher.
Has been run up to 16,000
TVA Center Hill Reservior Levels. Look for a level of 650 or less.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
This may be the rapid some call 'Eye of the Needle"
the main hole
surfing the edge
(RM) Twin Falls - Rock Island - PNP
(RM) Rock Island Panorama
(RM) Top Waves
(RM) Surfing Top Waves
(RM) Main Play Hole Close
(RM) Main Play Hole Close 2
(RM) Main Play Hole 4
(RM) Main Play Hole 3
(RM) Main Play Hole 2
(RM) Main Play Hole 1
(RM) Rock Island Fossils
Rock Island loop
Bodyboard at Rock Island
Main Hole 3600 cfs
New Kayak company in Tennessee
Icon with Pods
(RM) Spotlight on Great Falls
(RM) Panarama of Great Falls & Extreme Race
(RM) Extreme Race at the Spout 6
(RM) Extreme Race at the Spout 5
(RM) Extreme Race at the Spout 4
(RM) Extreme Race at the Spout 3
(RM) Extreme Race at the Spout 2
(RM) Extreme Race at The Spout 1
(RM) Sieve Rapid
(RM) Sieve Rapid From Below
(RM) Great Falls Panarama
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