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TVA Reservation Rock Pile is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Muscle Shoals, Alabama that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 6.5 mi Elevation gain 1,003 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Forest

Partially paved

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

As of 5/19/19, hikers report that the trail is closed due to trail conditions. The rock pile trail is an easily followed trail which includes some of the most interesting features packed into an in-and-out hike. 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 surprisingly diverse although there is a definite lack of larger species. Bird watchers should be impressed by the diversity of song birds, migratory species, pelicans, and 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.

TVA

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (56)
Photos (87)
Recordings (62)
Completed (139)
Steph Kemper
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HikingOver grown
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Rajesh Boorgu
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HikingBugsOver grown
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Justin Cole
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Hiking

Good community trail. High traffic. Great views of downtown Florence Alabama at sunset. Love the Tennessee River being right there.

Alyse Brewer
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 17, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

Pretty overgrown and very littered with trash. I’m very disappointed in the people that have left tons of trash down by the river and all along this trail.

View Alyse's Recording
Bart R.
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Hiking

Hiked this trail 3 times over the past week. Trail in great condition - not overgrown like it can get in the summer. Constant up and down. Great workout. Start at Old Railroad Bridge and hike toward dam or start and Rock Pile - very close to everything - no long drive for a great hike!

Lacey Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 23, 2019
HikingOver grownWashed out

Well I hiked all the way to The Old Quarters Trail as I was losing daylight to make it to the railroad bridge. The trail is really overgrown in several areas. It didn't stop me, but I imagine for some it would br incredibly difficult. It is a very intense trail regardless of overgrowth. There are many great scenic opportunities, I even ran into some wild turkeys. You definitely should bring a friend, stay hydrated, and be careful.

Corey Dunn
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HikingOver grownPrivate property
View Corey's Recording
Ed Settle
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HikingBlowdownOver grown

Starting at the Wilson Dam, I found the trail fun with the forested area along the river. However, as mentioned in other reviews, the trail is not well maintained, especially in areas with direct sunlight with dense plant growth. Unfortunately, the plant growth obscures the trail (and perhaps critters). I got lost trail half way through the hike and needed to turn around.

View Ed's Recording
J Savey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Hiking

Great easy trail for the family and dog came across a couple timber rattle snakes. So watch out

View J's Recording
David Aday
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Wasn't able to really do the trail because it was closed. I guess the floods took a toll down there. I did go to the waterfalls. It was very nice. I'll try again one day.

Dee Dolley
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Hiking

love this trail with my dog

Christina Cawley
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Wasn’t marked- couldn’t find trail to go under 133 from rockpile parking. Needs some serious maintenance and cleanup. A lot of trash - several alcoholic bottles lying around- campground looked like homeless camping... very disappointing... my mom and I both have hiked quite a few miles in Bankhead and Appalachian... this was sad... hopeful they’ll get it cleaned and marked.

Lisa R.
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Running

My only complaint is the trail to cross over solid level ground rather than over the rock circle/retaining pond is not obviously marked. FYI, go left at the chainlink fence or you will disturb the efforts of some very annoyed fishermen... like I did. Also, when you reach the picnic area, the path picks back up on the other side of the pavilion in the tree line closest to the river. I actually ran Rockpile and the paved Jogging Trail and back out Rockpile. Ended up being almost 6.5 miles. My puppers had a great time! Another side note, some other people did not have their dogs on leashes and would run up to me and my dog.

Jessica Wilson
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Hiking

Agree with Moderate rating. There are about two patches that need to some maintenance/cut down and maybe some better signage toward the end of the trail. We will definitely hike it again!

Brandy Rhoades
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Hiking

The trail was gorgeous in a lot of places that made it worth the trip but some areas were really overgrown and snake-y! And it wasn't really a loop. We had to retrace. But beautiful place!

Brad Shelton
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trail is in need of maintenance

Michael Hunter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2016
Hiking

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.

Brad Pence
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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.

Brad Pence
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Hiking

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.

Burt Waldon
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Hiking

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.

Keith Winburn
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Walking

nice walk

Todd Oyen
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Hiking

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

Dale Dodd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 14, 2011
Hiking

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.

Melody Garcia
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Hiking
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Starr de Graffenried
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking
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