Get Out & Play: Tennessee Rivers

Carol EvansAround Town

The year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation into law, the purpose was “to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.”

The Obed Wild and Scenic River, located just over an hour outside of Knoxville, is the only river in Tennessee officially designated as a Wild and Scenic River. The Obed offers paddlers three difficulty classifications II-IV, making it one of the best whitewater paddling rivers in the eastern United States.


While not all of our rivers are wild, they are all scenic! If you can’t make it to the Obed, try out some of our local waterways. The new dock located at Concord Park in West Knox makes it even easier to get on the water. This is an ideal spot for paddlers because this location is off the main channel of the lake and provides access to the creeks. You can access the dock by the Concord Park Fishing Pier at 11550 S. Northshore Drive, just west of the traffic circle.

The 11-mile Tellico Blueway is ideal for those who want a flatwater paddle with very little noticeable current. This easy-going float trip starts at the Big Creek ramp on Fairview Road in Madisonville, Tennessee.

To find more great rivers to float visit OutdoorKnoxville.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *