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Tennessee Rivers



Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area- This National River and Recreation Area protects the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and it's tributaries. The park encompasses approximately 110,000 acres on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. It is bordered on the north by the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Harpeth Scenic River and Narrows Historic Area- The Narrows of the Harpeth Historic Area is the site of one of the oldest man-made tunnels in the United States. Group tours, hiking, paddling sports and other activities are available.
Hiwassee and Ocoee Rivers State Park- The Ocoee River is a premier whitewater river in the Southeastern United States possessing Class III, IV, and V rapids. A scenic portion of the John Muir trail winds through the river gorge.
Hiwassee State Scenic River- The Hiwassee River originates on the northwestern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia. The river flows into North Carolina before turning west into Tennessee.
Obed Wild and Scenic River- This Wild and Scenic River cuts through the Cumberland Plateau of East Tennessee, providing a myriad of recreation opportunities in the river and on the terrain surrounding it.
Ocoee River- The Ocoee River originates form the Toocoa River which flows from the North Georgia mountains. As the river crosses the state line in Copperhill, Tennessee, it becomes the Ocoee River. Paddling sports are the most popular pursuits on the river.
Tellico River- The headwaters of the Tellico River originate in the Snowbird mountains of North Carolina. It is a major tributary to the Little Tennessee River.

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General Information

Description - The headwaters of the Tellico River originate in the Snowbird mountains of North Carolina. A major tributary to the Little Tennessee River Corridor offers scenic view, picnicking, camping and paddling sports.

The Ocoee River originates form the Toocoa River which flows from the North Georgia mountains. As the river crosses the state line in Copperhill, TN, it becomes the Ocoee River. As far back as 1840, the river was not constrained by dams and it was allowed to roar freely as a whitewater river from Tumbling Creek to Greasy Creek. This area is know as the Ocoee gorge. The gorge was formed by the foothills of Big Frog Mountain to the south and Little Frog Mountain to the north.

The Hiwassee River originates on the northwest slopes of he Blue Ridge Mountains along the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia. The river flows into North Carolina before turning west through Tennessee. It drains over 750,000-acres of mountain land, most of which lies within the confines of the Cherokee, Nantahala and Chattahochee National Forests.

The Obed River and its two main tributaries, Clear Creek and Daddy's Creek, cut into the Cumberland Plateau of East Tennessee, providing some of the most rugged scenery in the southeast.

The Obed offers some of the best whitewater paddling on the Cumberland Plateau.
Like the Big South Fork, it is a free-flowing river and changes dramatically with the weather conditions and the seasons.

The free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries pass through 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide range of natural and historic features.

The Narrows of the Harpeth historic area is the site of one of the oldest man-made tunnels in the United States. Group tours, hiking, paddling sports and other activities are available.

Attractions - The Ocoee Whitewater River and the Hiwassee River offers a sample of all that is available in the area-whitewater sports, picnicking, camping, hiking and mountain biking.

The Tellico River is fed by many streams high into the watershed. Scenic falls are seen at Bald River which is located near the confluence with the Tellico River. Other tributaries that support the river include Sycamore Creek and North River. Class III, IV and V rapids are formed by bedrock and boulders and create a canoeist and kayaker's heaven when the water is high. Many excellent scenic views are provided by cliffs, waterfalls, and rapids on the river and its tributaries.

The Kentucky & Tennessee Railway at one time stretched for over 20 miles into the Big South Fork River valley and operated 12 steam locomotives. It served as the primary passage not only for timber and coal coming out of the valley, but also for the workers and supplies going into the coal and lumber camps with names like Barthell, Comargo, Blue Heron, Worley, Yamacraw, Oz, and others. Board the train at the newly restored freight warehouse that contains a restaurant and gift shops for your day's adventure into the past. Live music usually precedes the train's departure. Also check out the Visitor Center and the Blue Heron Community.

Wild and scenic are good words to describe the Obed river system. Consisting of four streams, Daddys Creek, Clear Creek, the Emory River and the Obed River, it shares like geological features and a similar history with the Big South Fork.

The Harpeth Scenic River Complex in Davidson County includes the canoe accesses at the U.S. Hwy. 100 Bridge, the 1862 Newsom's Mill ruins, and at the McCrory Lane Bridge at Hidden Lake. Downstream, the Narrows of the Harpeth provides an upstream and downstream access, the Bell's Bend five mile float and a unique 1/4-mile portage. A mile upstream, Mound Bottom preserves an ancient Indian ceremonial center.

Recreation - Tennessee's rivers provide all forms of recreation including-hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, picnicking, paddling sports, camping, group retreats and historical sites.

Location - Most of these rivers are in the Eastern Travel Region. This Mississippi River is in the Western Travel Region.


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Additional Information:
Tennessee - This southeastern state is comprised of vast woodlands, wide river valleys and Appalachian highlands. Nashville, the state capital, and Memphis are the two largest cities in the state.

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