Tennessee is a Southeastern state with a Rocky Mountain feel to it. While there is no coastline to speak of in Tennessee, the paddling opportunities abound in this mountainous state. There seems to be a spider web of lakes, rivers, and streams all over the landscape of this southern gem. Also, Tennessee is a premier whitewater kayaking and rafting state with the Olympic quality Ocoee River at the forefront. Here is all the information you need to go kayaking, canoeing, and rafting in Tennessee. Go paddle TN!
Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking in TennesseeSince the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Tennessee’s paddling has become synonymous with whitewater paddling. However, Tennessee also has a plethora of options for recreational canoeing, kayaking, and raft floating options all over the mountains and down into the valleys near its cities. Check out some of the options here.
- Canoeing in Tennessee's State Parks
- Paddling in Memphis
- Canoe the Red River and the Bell Witch Cave, Adams, TN
- Float Trips and Canoe Rental on Elk River
- The Harpeth River, Nashville, TN
- Shoal Creek Canoe Run, Iron City, TN
- Canoe the Caney Fork River
- Kayak the Caney Fork River
- Buffalo River Camping and Canoeing
- Red River Canoe
- Canoe the Buffalo River in Tennesse
Touring Kayaking in TennesseeSince Tennessee is a state away from the ocean you wouldn’t think there are any sea kayaking opportunities in the state. However there is a great touring kayaking option in the Tennessee River Blueway. The Blueway offers opportunities for multiday trips, fishing, camping, island exploration, and wildlife viewing. If you’re looking to just get in your kayak and get away from it all for a few days, the Tennessee River Blueway is your ticket. Learn about paddling on the Tennessee River Blueway here.
Whitewater Kayaking and Paddling in TennesseeTennessee is well known for its whitewater around the country and it is a frequent destination for kayakers looking to hone their paddling skills on the Ocoee River, the site of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Home of the Ocoee Whitewater Center (OWC), and just miles from the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), this area of Tennessee is a magnet for whitewater kayakers. Here is information on the whitewater kayaking that Tennessee has to offer, including the Ocoee River, the Pigeon River, and the Big South Fork of the Cumberland.
- Big South Fork River
- NPS info on Whitewater on the Big South Fork River
- The Ocoee River
- Directions to the Ocoee
- Geology of the Ocoee
- The Pigeon River
Whitewater Rafting in TennesseeWhile it is well-established that the private boating culture is firmly rooted on the whitewater rivers of Tennessee, there is also a vibrant commercial rafting industry that has been servicing this area for just as long. People as far south as South Florida come to brave the rapids of the Ocoee River compliments of the raft guides of Tennessee. Here are some good starting points to get your rafting adventure underway.
- Tennessee Rafting
- Gatlinburg Rafting
- Ocoee Adventure Center
- Nantahala Outdoor Center
- What to Expect When Rafting