Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting | Tennessee Vacation

Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting

Whether you need a soothing float down the river or a rip-roaring whitewater rafting adventure, the scenic rivers of Tennessee never fail to provide an inspiring experience.

Glide across water like glass. Shoot the rapids. Watch the water birds. Float down a lazy river. Relax as the sun sparkles on the water. 

Decide if you want intense action, a wilderness experience, a reinvigorating getaway or a bouncy ride with your family. Our rivers and waterways have different personalities and distinct experiences to offer. Be warned: Full-on excitement is available and waiting in the water in Tennessee!

The rushing mountain streams challenge true water enthusiasts to take on their rapids and falls. Take your family on a Cherokee Rafting trip, an organization also recently selected by National Geographic as an official geo-tourism destination for Tennessee. 

One of Tennessees most dramatic paddles is a four-mile roundtrip excursion from Cave Hollow to Burgess Falls on Center Hill Lake. Great blue heron, whitetail deer, and king fisher can be spotted along the shoreline, but if the outstanding wildlife observation is not enough to convince you, wait for the punch line of this short excursion: you will find yourself at the base of the 130-foot roaring-rushing-frothing Burgess Falls.

Big South Fork National River is a certain kind of paradise for the kayaker who loves wet and wild adventure travel. While most of the river is pretty wild whitewater, the stretch between Peters Bridge and Brewster Bridge provides a relatively calm paddle suitable for paddlers of all levels. Watch wild turkey, ducks, geese and other waterfowl frolicking along high tree-lined banks. 


Spend a quiet, leisurely afternoon canoeing among the amazing cypress trees of Reelfoot Lake as you watch bald eagles nest above you.

If you prefer a little more adventure and solidarity, Tennessee has plenty of kayaking opportunities. Take on the Class II rapids Duck River Blueway, as you whiz by waterfowl, fish and even mussels in the river below.