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.

hiwassee autumn.jpg

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

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

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

Polk, Bradley and Rhea Counties, TN

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga to Reliance, TN (Upper River)
61.3 miles | 1 hour, 12 minutes

GPS Coordinates (Reliance, TN)
35.189522, -84.498966

Google Map

Dates | Hours
No restrictions
Recreational Apalachia Dam releases May-October

Rest Rooms
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





Hiwassee River