Roadtrip: Hiwassee River Blueway

The Hiwassee River Blueway offers more than 60 miles of navigable water for canoe, kayak and paddle boat enthusiasts to enjoy.

The blueway begins near Apalachia Dam Powerhouse above Reliance, Tenn., gently winds its way toward the Tennessee River, and ends at the Hiwassee River Wildlife Refuge Area at Blythe Ferry in Birchwood, Tenn.

Based on the International Scale of River Difficulty, the Hiwassee River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves; few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with side, clear channels; some maneuvering required). Certain sections may be considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe; requires complex maneuvering).

The upper reaches of the river offer some of the best trout fishing in the eastern United States. The surrounding landscape features pastoral farmland and numerous historical sites, such as the towns of Charleston and Calhoun, as well as the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park in Birchwood, Tenn.

A number of outfitters offer raft and boat rentals on the Hiwassee River, including Hiwassee Outfitters, Webb Brothers Rafting and B&B Marina.

For more information, contact the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park at 423-263-0050 or visit http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/hiwassee-Ocoee

2 Rivers RV Park, Campground & Cabin Rental

397 Dentville Road
Delano, TN 37307
423-338-7208

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Agency Creek Campground

4710 State Highway 58 South
Decatur, TN 37322
423-334-0927

Armstrong Ferry Recreation Area

4623 Armstrong Ferry Rd.
Decatur, TN 37322
423-334-3584

Located on the Tennessee River in Decatur and features camping, hiking, picnicking, fishing, swimming area, and boat ramp.

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B&B Marina & Campground

117 Marina Dr NW
Charleston, TN 37310
423-336-2341

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Benny’s BBQ

8851 Hiwassee Street
Charleston, TN 37310
423-665-0040

Birchwood Family Opry

5600 Block Hwy 60
Birchwwood, TN
7:00pm Friday and Saturday nights

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Black Bear Cove Resort

5842 Hwy. 30
Benton, TN 37307
423-338-4399

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Blythe Ferry Goose Management Area

Blythe Ferry Lane
Birchwood, TN

Bird watching, fishing, hiking, camping.

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Charleston Public Park

Bordered by Wool, Worth & Market Sts.
Charleston, TN

Public restrooms and picnic tables available.

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Cherokee National Forest

2800 Ocoee Street
Cleveland, TN 37312
423-476-9700

This 650,000-acre forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee and adjoins other national forests in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

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Cherokee Removal Memorial Park

6800 Blythe Ferry Rd
Birchwood, TN  37308
423-339-2769

This 29-acre park features the Cherokee Removal Memorial, a visitor center and walking trails in a historically significant landscape.

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Chickamauga Wildlife Management Area

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge Check Station
525 Priddy Lane
Birchwood, TN 37308

CNC Cabins

142 Withrow Lane
Benton, TN 37307

Eastern Tennessee rustic log cabin rentals under Chilhowee Mountain.

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Dave’s Spiced Right BBQ

12914 Highway 58 & 60
Georgetown, TN 37336
423-961-9079

Barbecue and Burgers

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Delano Community Farmer’s Market

Needle Eye Ln.
Delano, TN 37325

Mennonite Farm and Market

Doc’s Pizza Station

5616 Highway 60
Birchwood, TN
423-961-4111

Best pizza and calzones around!

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Fort Marr

Gee Creek Campground
404 Spring Creek Rd.
Delano, TN 37325

Gee Creek Campground

404 Spring Creek Road
Delano, TN 37325
423-263-0050

Primitive campground with 47 sites, each with a table, fire ring and a grill. Large group camp field also available.

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Golden Chain Campground

8511 Hiwassee St.
Charleston, TN 37310
423-336-3170

High Country Adventures

430 Highway 64
Ocoee, TN 37361
800-233-8594

Offering whitewater rafting on the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers, kayaking, rock climbing, and caving trips.

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Hiwasee Campground and Cottage Rentals
Hiwassee Ocoee Scenic River State Park

404 Spring Creek Road
Delano, TN 37325
423-263-0050

A 23-river mile section of the Hiwassee that offers canoeing, rafting, fishing, hiking, and nature photography. The Gee Creek primitive tent campground has 47 campsites, each with a table, fire ring and grill. Adjacent is the Gee Creek Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest.

See Photo Sphere

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Hiwassee Outfitters

155 Ellis Creek Road
Reliance, TN 37369
423-338-8115

Full service outfitter and campground specializing in rafting on the Hiwassee River located in the Cherokee National Forest.

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Hiwassee River Heritage Center

8746 Hiwassee Street
Charleston, TN  37310
423-665-3373

Present-day Charleston, Tenn., was once the site of the Indian Agency and eventually served as Fort Cass, the military headquarters for the entire Trail of Tears operation. The Hiwassee River Heritage Center brings to life this historical landscape with exhibits and guided tours.

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Hiwassee River Rail Adventures

727 Tennessee Ave. South
Etowah, TN 37331
423-263-7840

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Hiwassee Union Church

Reliance, TN 37369

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge

545 Priddy Rd.
Birchwood, TN 37308

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John Muir Trail

Ocoee-Hiwassee Ranger Station
3171 Hwy. 64, Benton, TN
423-338-3300

The John Muir National Recreation Trail #152 is a 20.7 mile foot trail that follows alongside the Hiwassee River within the Cherokee National Forest of Southeast Tennessee. The trail was part of American naturalist John Muir’s Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf in 1867. Trailheads are located at Childers Creek, Big Bend and at the end of Forest Road #108.

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Lake Ocoee Inn and Marina

2496 Highway 64
Benton, TN 37307
423-338-5591

Offering whitewater rafting, cabin rentals, motel lodging, marina, and boat rental on scenic Parksville Lake (Lake Ocoee).

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Morris Vineyard & Tennessee Mountainview Winery

346 Union Grove Rd. NE
Charleston, TN  37310
423-479-7311

Established in 1965, this vineyard grows grapes, muscadines, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries for its 17 different wine varieties. Pick-your-own offered during berry season.

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Mountain Stream Cabins

1370 Childers Creek Road
Reliance, TN 37369
423-338-1070

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Native American Fish Weir

Gee Creek Campground
404 Spring Creek Rd.
Delano, TN 37325

Ocoee Outdoors / Aardvark Rafting

1985 Old Copper Road
Benton, TN 37307
800-533-7767

Offering whitewater rafting adventures on the Ocoee River and the Hiwassee River.

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Reliance Fly & Tackle

588 Childers Creek Rd.
Reliance, TN
423-338-7771

Oldest locally owned fly shop and country store in the area. Smoked ribs and chicken dinners served on weekends. Bagged fisherman lunches available.

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Reliance Historic District

3708 Hwy. 30
Reliance, TN 37369

Rural Retreat Campground

5584 State Highway 58 S
Decatur, Tennessee 37322
(423) 334-3282

Sandhill Crane Festival

Birchwood, TN
Date:  January

birchwood_featured

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Savannah Oaks Winery

1817 Delano Road
Decatur, TN 37325
423-263-2762

Variety of wines offered; winery and vineyard available for weddings and special events.

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Southeastern Anglers

107 Riverview Lane
Reliance, TN 37369
423-338-7368

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Spring Creek Retreat

133 Fletcher Drive
Reliance, TN 37369
423-400-4241

On your next excursion to the Hiwassee and Ocoee Rivers, consider reserving a mountain home in beautiful Spring Creek Retreat, near Reliance, TN.

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Still Waters Restaurant

106 Savannah Shores Dr.
Delano, TN 37325
423-808-0010

Great food, great friends and local farm fresh produce when in season!

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Watchman’s House

3708 Highway 30
Reliance, TN 37369
423-338-2373/877-932-7238

Listed on the National Register, the Watchman’s House has been restored and is open for vacation rental year round.

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Webb Brothers Float Service

3708 Hwy 30
Reliance, TN 37369
423-338-2373

Full service outfitter specializing in your Hiwassee River rafting adventure.

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Welcome Valley Village

867 Welcome Valley Rd.
Benton, TN 37307
800-542-8567

Riverside log cabin rental retreat is located on 17 private acres nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

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Willie’s Deli

7701 N Lee Hwy
Charleston, TN 37310
423-336-8008

Great sandwiches and burgers!