TVA Reservation Rock Pile

Muscle Shoals, AL
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Wilson Dam, Waterfalls, amazing views of the Tennessee river, historical sites

The rock pile trail is an easily followed trail which includes some of the most interesting features packed into a 6 mile in and out hike possible. The trail follows the Tennessee river upstream along bluffs with several views of Florence as well as the river. The trail is very well marked and well maintained. Wildlife on the trail is suprisingly diverse although there is a definite lack of larger species. However bird watchers should be impressed by the diversity of song birds, migratory species, pelicans, and eagles (yes I did say eagles). The highlight of the trail is toward the turn around point which ends at the top of Wilson Dam. here there is a system of small caves, as well as a rather impressive waterfall that cascades off the side of the bluffs into the Tennessee River at the base of the dam. There are several historical sites worth noting on the trail as well.

The trail is easily found although to walk the whole trail which is the preferred way to do it one should start near the paved nature trails west of wilson dam. There is a sign pointing toward an area known as "nature trails". From the parking lot complete with facilities simply head down the paved trail to the sign stating rock pile trail. The trail is the only blazed trail in the system which includes several interesting side trails.

TVA

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4 Completed 5 Reviews

Very nice trail specially for being located in the middle of the city. We saw lots of wild flowers, tons of birds, squirrels, turtles and a chipmunk. Mid way though there's remains of a old facility that was demolished 50+ years ago. I found it strange and interesting to see along a trail. There are three different bridges crossing feeder streams to the Tennessee River. Also there is a picnic area called the CCC pavilion which is built of stone with a great view of the river. Another section of the trail is near the boat ramp, where you can see and walk along old rail road tracks, very cool. The tracks lead to to a foot bridge where the old rail road bridge still stands. After passing the boat ramp we had lunch at the picnic area and had bathrooms on site. Continuing to pass through the picnic area, we walked towards the dam itself where the waterfalls are. First is one shooting through a large rock cliff and second also came from within the cliff. Finally the last fall is amazing coming from atop the cliff (50 - 60 ft fall). I definitely would recommend this trail.

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13 Completed 14 Reviews

nice walk

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17 Completed 9 Reviews

Have walked this several times. It's a very pretty and diversified walk. Love the waterfalls at the end.

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

March 13, 2011

Me, my wife and 11 yr old son started at the top above the dam and walked along the top side of the waterfall the headed down toward the rockpile boat ramp. The trail was very clean and easy to walk. The temps had things beginning to green up and slot of wild foliage was popping out and made things very nice as we walked thru. We noticed along the trail that there were a lot of camp sites with picnic tables, grill pits and marked areas for camping but was all grown up (unusable), we talk as we walk about how sad it was that TVA would allow things to get in such a shape that it had. Even heard that vandals had come thru destroying things and TVA had decided not to repair. Well that's another story within itself but someone needs their butt tore up. A few thugs ruinit for others. Well we continued our hike and it was nice to be 100-200 feet above the Tennessee river and watch it as we hiked. There were a lot of birds out on the river and seen a lot of white pelicans which I'd never seen that far north. We continued until we reached the parking area at rock pile boat ramp. We then walk up toward the dam which were were now down on the level of the river. We stopped at one of many picnic tables and had a snack and drinks then continued up toward dam and waterfall. As we approached the waterfall, we noticed there were 2 areas where water was pouring out of the rock wall that we had just been hiking across. Great place for pictures. We walked further down to the huge waterfall and the cool mist was nice as we had walked up a sweat. After looking around the waterfall area awhile we then headed back to boat ramp area where we discovered rock pile trail continued on down river. We walked short distance Indian before turning and heading back up the rock wall back to our vehicle. Was a very nice hike and loved the waterfalls. We will for sure go back again but next time we will park at rock pile boat ramp and start hiking there.

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