Collins River

Collins River watershed

About the Collins River watershed

Drainage Area

789 square miles

Notable Tributaries

  • Savage Creek
  • Barren Fork


  • Cannon County. TN
  • Coffee County, TN
  • Dekalb County, TN
  • Grundy County, TN
  • Marion County, TN
  • Sequatchie County, TN
  • Van Buren County, TN
  • Warren County, TN

The Collins River watershed is drained by the Collins River, which flows to the northeast to join the Caney Fork River at Center Hill Lake. Both the South Cumberland and Rock Island state parks are found within the watershed, and the Collins River itself is a Tennessee State Scenic River.

Savage Gulf is a majestic canyon in the region, where the waters of the Collins River, Big Creek, and Savage Creek dance between narrow canyon walls and sheer sandstone cliffs. One of the most agriculturally active watersheds of the entire Cumberland basin, the Collins River watershed sees substantial cattle and grain production, and is home to highly productive tree and landscape plant nurseries. 

The watershed’s aquatic biodiversity is fascinating. Amongst the many species that inhabit the watershed, Barbara’s Buttons can be found on the rocky, wet, banks of area streams, and slender glass lizards inhabit sandy soils near streams and ponds. The subterranean waters of this watershed’s remarkable cave systems provide a home in the dark to translucent southern cave crayfish.

Explore the Collins River watershed