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Hiwassee River

After a long spill through the western face of the Appalachian Mountains, the Hiwassee River widens to become a cool, summer destination for tubers, paddlers and anglers.

Tubing Devil’s Shoals on the Hiwassee

The dam controlled, Class II river is perfect for cooling off on a blistering summer day.

The section from the Appalachia Powerhouse Dam to Reliance, TN can be run in an afternoon. Put in at a launch just downriver of the dam and take out where the TN Valley Railroad bridge crosses the river at Reliance.

The Tennessee Valley Authority provides recreational releases on the river, May-October. 

Hiwassee River Recreational Release Schedule

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Hiwassee River Access Map

Related Activities

Class II+ whitewater paddling, rafting (upper river), flat water paddling (lower river), hiking, camping, wildlife viewing

Activity Type

Class II+ whitewater tubing


Polk County, TN

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga to Reliance, TN

61.3 miles | 1 hour, 12 minutes

Google Map


No restrictions
Recreational Apalachia Dam releases May-October


Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.

Overnight Camping


Hiwassee-Ocoee State Park and private campgrounds

Cherokee National Forest (Hiwassee River Zone)

Contact Information

Cherokee National Forest
Ocoee Ranger District
3171 Highway 64
Benton TN 37307-5823
(423) 338-3300

Cherokee National Forest South

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