Sandbar Pavilion open again

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The state is peased to announce that the recently renovated Sandbar Pavilion is now open and available for rent. What was once a little-used bath house has been renovated into an elevated picnic pavilion / shelter at the swim beach on the Caney Fork River.

Located at the headwaters of Center Hill Lake,the large concrete pavilion had deteriorated over recent decades due to multiple plumbing and electrical problems. As part of the renovations, the outer walls were lowered to allow views of the lake from the upper decks. The entire upper level was completely renovated to allow for an expanded picnic area, now providing 18 picnic tables as well as electrical access for rental groups. Demolition of a portion of the bath house was completed with labor provided by the Southeastern Regional Correctional Facility.

The pavilion’s upgrades include new flood-tolerant, ADA-accessible restrooms with motion-activated lighting on the lower level. An outdoor rinse shower is provided adjacent to the new restrooms. An ADA-accessible sidewalk from the swim beach parking area to the pavilion was also added. In addition, two new grill areas – with large group grills, fire rings and benches – were installed adjacent to the pavilion, overlooking the lake. The pavilion’s lower level is available on a first-come, first-served basis and includes five picnic tables and one ADA-accessible table.

“This area has always been one of the most popular for visitors at Rock Island due to the amazing natural scenery,” said Park Manager Damon Graham. “A natural sand beach and towering sheer bluffs over the lake provide a wonderful backdrop for the pavilion.”

Although the pavilion is fully shaded, park staff plan to install overhead fans in the upcoming year. Staff also plans to install interpretive signage, informing visitors of the local area’s history and natural resources.

The Sandbar Pavilion, offering the ideal landscape for wedding, reunions, birthday parties and family cookouts, is available for rental during the spring, summer and fall from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. Groups can reserve one side of the pavilion or the entire upper deck area. Rates for individual sides are $65 a day or $130 a day for both sides. The rental includes picnic tables and space upstairs, as well as the associated group grill area, fire ring and benches below. Overhead lighting and electrical access is also available.

The scenic beauty of this wooded park is dominated by the Great Falls of the Caney Fork River – an imposing limestone gorge or “gulf” as it is called in the region. It provides scenic overlooks, waterfalls and deep pools for fishing, rock hopping and exploring. Located at the confluence of the Collins and Caney Fork rivers, this 883-acre park has a natural sand beach on Center Hill Reservoir. Historic features of the park include a 19th century textile mill and one of Tennessee's early hydroelectric plants.

For further information, or to rent the pavilion, contact 931-686-2471 or visit

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