Learn more about Powell River Blueway Trail.
There are twenty access points located along the Powell River Blueway Trail that extend from Hancock County, thru Claiborne and Union Counties and ending in Anderson County of Tennessee. Click on the website link for more information about access points and river-related businesses in Claiborne County.
The Powell River originates in SW Virginia and flows through NE Tennessee where it joins the Clinch River in Norris Lake. The Powell, together with the Clinch, are the two largest free-flowing (un-dammed) rivers in Tennessee. The US Fish & Wildlife Services has described the Powell River as "One of the most biologically diverse rivers in a temperate climate anywhere in the world." It is home to about 100 species of fish and supports a wide variety of freshwater mussels, birds, turtles, plants and animals such as beaver and river otter. The Powell River is largely undeveloped. One can paddle for miles and not see any dwellings and often not even see other paddlers.
The Powell has a nice mix of slack water in deeper holes, swift water and the occasional ledge to navigate. Since the river has no upstream dams, flows are entirely dependent on precipitation in the upstream watershed. Paddlers have seen flows as low as 300 cubic feet per second and as high as 30,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).
Each year since 2015, the Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce has held the Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta, a 12 mile race with nine race categories (or a quiet recreational paddle, your choice) on the Class 1 Powell River.