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.
The dam controlled, Class II river is perfect fpr beginning paddlers, with wide, open rapids and bouncy wave trains.
There are some bruising, rocky sections, so doing your first run with a guide or experienced friend is highly recommended.
The section from the Apalachia Powerhouse Dam to Reliance, TN can be run in an afternoon. Put in at the Powerhouse Rd. launch just downriver of the Powerhouse 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
Class II+ whitewater paddling
Class II+ whitewater tubing, rafting (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
Dates | Hours
Recreational Apalachia Dam releases May-October
Yes. Forest Service pit toilets.
Cherokee National Forest
Ocoee Ranger District
3171 Highway 64
Benton TN 37307-5823
Cherokee National Forest South