Tennessee River | Tennessee Vacation

Tennessee River

Tennessee Valley Authority
Knoxville, TN 37902
Contact Email: 
(865) 632-2101

A beautiful waterway, the 652-mile Tennessee River is located in the Tennessee Valley and was once known as the Cherokee River. Its name is derived from the Cherokee village name “Tanasi.” The river’s rich, fascinating history includes Cherokee Indians, early colonial pioneers, Revolutionary War heroes and Civil War battles. Today, the Tennessee River provides a magnificent variety of boat-accessible concerts, festivals, museums, historic sites, landmarks, resorts and activities.

The river forms at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers to the east of Knoxville, Tennessee. The entire length of the Tennessee River is navigable, rich with scenery. Boater-friendly, lined with great towns, plenty of marinas and anchorage opportunities, the waterway.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was created to build a system of dams to control the chronic flooding of the Tennessee River. TVA also deepened the channel to improve navigation and encouraged development of port facilities along the river. The projects facilitated traffic on the river and provided affordable electricity, spurring industrial development of the region.

Among recreational activities along the Tennessee River: Canoeing and kayaking the Tennessee River Blueway, a beautiful section of the Tennessee River that flows through Chattanooga, Tennessee, from the Chickamauga Dam, about 50 miles down river to the Nickajack Dam; fishing; camping along the river; boating--whether by a smaller craft or a steamboat.

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