Tennessee: Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park is just a stone's throw away from Cumberland Caverns (ha ;) ). After I went to Cumberland Caverns the first time, I knew that the following time it was a priority to visit here. Especially when I saw photos of this place! They kind of speak for themselves. 1000+ words ya know?
But, in case they don't ... Rock Island is definitely a place to visit. It's composed of 883 acres of park including the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam. There's also a natural sand beach on Center Hill Lake. And a visitor center with maps and more information in case you can't handle it all right now.
You don't even need to go hiking to experience the park. Just driving to the scenic overlooks such as Great Falls (a 30 foot horseshoe cascading waterfall pictured above) provides enough "awe"-ing. But if you want to get a little closer, there are trails you can take.
The one we took was the Twin Falls trail. Super easy and quick access to some waterfalls. You won't be able to swim here (that's really only at the beach right now in part because of a TVA Gorge Closure — make sure to read all the information here)), but you can walk the path down and after hopping some rocks, stand in front of it enough to feel the waterfall mist.
This beautiful place is something worth taking at least half a day. There's also campsites you for an even longer stay. Whatever you do, make it a priority to see this place at some point.