Hiwassee River

Class I-II+
Adults and Kids ages 6 and older.

After a long spill through the western face of the Appalachian Mountains, the Hiwassee State Scenic River widens to become a beautiful, fresh water destination for tubers, paddlers and anglers.

hiwassee rapid learning

The dam controlled, Class II river is perfect for family rafting trips, with wide, clear rapids and bouncy wave trains. 

Several commercial guide services offer raft and duckie rentals, as well as guided trips. 
Hiwassee River Raft Guide Services and Outfitters

duckies hiwassee river 

The section from the Apalachia Powerhouse Dam to Reliance, TN can be run in an afternoon. 

All rafting trips, guided and unguided, are dependent on the Tennessee Valley Authority's recreational release schedule. 
Hiwassee River Recreational Release Schedule
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Hiwassee River Access Map

Activity type
Class II+ whitewater rafting

Related Activities
Class II+ whitewater tubing and paddling (upper river), flat water paddling (lower river), hiking, camping, mountain biking, wildlife viewing

Polk County, TN

Distance from Outdoor Chattanooga
65 miles | 1 hour, 25 minutes

GPS Coordinates
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 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


Hiwassee River