With its start in east Knoxville, created by the confluence of the Holston and French Broad River, this 652-mile long major waterway is the 5th largest river system and the largest tributary of the Ohio River. From it's headwaters in Knoxville, the Tennessee River flows southwest towards Chattanooga before turning westward through the Cumberland Plateau into northern Alabama, here it continues eventually joining the Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky. TVA has established a stairway of nine dams and locks along the River’s mighty stretch, with the Fort Loudoun and Watts Bar Dams residing in our region.
Fishing: Flowing right through the heart of Knoxville, the Tennessee River is very accessible to anglers. Fishing can be as simple as casting a line off one of the greenways that contour the river, to accessing the River from one of the many local piers and docks. A complete listing of the ramps, piers and docks are listed on the blueways map. Check our local fishing page for the Parks and Greenways that provide waterfront access.
Paddling: The blueways map shows multiple put-ins for the Tennessee River, many are in our City and County Parks. New to paddling or don't have a canoe, the City of Knoxville's Parks & Recreation Dept, partnered with Ijams Nature Center, offers a canoe program perfect for all ages. Two trips are offered; one follows the Holston River to the Tennessee River into downtown Knoxville, while the second paddles the French Broad River to the Tennessee River to downtown.