TVA Reservation Rock Pile is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Muscle Shoals, AL that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from September until February. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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.
Hiked part of the trail from the Wilson Dam side. Trail heading the opposite way of the dam was grown up half way. Had to turn back. The waterfall was cool.
Explored most of the lower end of the trail today, even though I still have not made it to the waterfall area at the end because their are so many side trails to explore. Skinner wall area was pretty Nasty fisher's have trashed it up but the rest of the lower end is very scenic, especially between the bridge and the dam.
Very well Marked with several different parking areas from which to start from. Plan on doing full trail on next trip. I have mainly just explored the rock pile area. Lots of side trails to explore and old ruins form CCC era when the dam was built. A good little hiking area with lots of nature. Especially to be located basically in the middle between two towns.
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.
Have walked this several times. It's a very pretty and diversified walk. Love the waterfalls at the end.
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.