The Hiwassee State Scenic River flows into the Tennessee River a few miles west of State Route 58 in Meigs County, Tennessee. The Hiwassee was the first river managed in the State Scenic River program. A 23-river mile section, from the North Carolina state line to U.S. 411 North, at Benton, is a Class III partially developed river. Here, Hiwassee offers a stretch of river ideal for canoeing, rafting, fishing, hiking and nature photography. A scenic portion of the John Muir trail winds through the river gorge. Numerous public access sites provide boat-launching ramps. With a refreshing water temperature, some swift currents and rock ledges, the Hiwassee makes the perfect getaway adventure. The cool, crystal-clear river makes a dramatically scenic horseshoe bend at the foot of Hood Mountain. A popular fishing stream, Hiwassee anglers of all ages enjoy fine catches of large-mouth bass, yellow perch, catfish, brown and rainbow trout. The latter two species are stocked by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. There is no park fee for fishing the Hiwassee in the state park; however, state fishing rules do apply. The Hiwassee State Scenic River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves, few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels, some maneuvering required). Certain sections may be considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe; requires complex maneuvering).
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