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Hiwassee River

The Hiwassee Scenic River is a wide, rocky trout stream that tumbles from its beginnings at the North Carolina state line through thousands of acres of public lands in the Appalachian Mountains.

As it leaves the mountains and flows northwest towards the Tennesssee River and the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, the river widens and flattens, becoming a seasonal haven for bass, sauger and yellow perch.

Multiple access points allow beginners and experts a chance to wade, paddle and race to their favorite catch.

TWRA Hiwassee River Access Map


Do not wade or boat the upper Hiwassee without first consulting TVA’s Hiwassee and Apalachia Dam release schedules.

Related Activities

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

Activity Type

Fly fishing, bank, wading, drfit boat, paddlecraft (upper river), and power boats (lower river)


Polk, Bradley and Rhea Counties, TN

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga

61.3 miles | 1 hour, 12 minutes

GPS Coordinates

35.189522, -84.498966

Google Map


No restrictions
Recreational Apalachia Dam releases May-October


Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.

Overnight Camping


Hiwassee-Ocoee State Park

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

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region III

464 Industrial Blvd.
Crossville, TN 38555


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