The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking in Tennessee

Kayaking is the most enjoyable activity in the waters. Several states contain favorable white-water for kayaking, one being the State of Tennessee. This state experiences persistent rains throughout the year, making the rivers cut through thick forests moving downwards.

The rivers are fascinating, with several hidden canyons together with some enormous rocks. Besides, the temperatures are moderate, making the place cool for kayaking activities. Read below to get the ultimate guide to kayaking in Tennessee.

Kayaking in Tennessee

Have The Proper Kayaking Gear

First of all, before deciding on where to kayak, ensure you have the right equipment for kayaking. These things include:

  • A kayak
  • A paddle
  • Helmet
  • Sun-block
  • Food and drinks
  • Towel

Know The Best Time To Kayak

There are times when the weather is too cold or raining, which is not the best time to do kayaking. The most excellent season to visit Tennessee’s rivers is from May to August. During this time, the weather is usually hot and bearable, making it the best time for leisure and sports events.

Know The Rules

There are several laws from Tennessee’s Paddle Sports Laws that you should familiarize yourself with. This will help you to practice only those things that are allowed by law. The rules are there to ensure that you will be safe when kayaking and protect the river.

Beginners Training

There are excellent training centers for kayaking in Tennessee, where beginners can join and learn. This will help you gain more kayaking skills so that you will be safe if you go to practice on your own. Most importantly, it is good that you gain enough kayaking experience before indulging in the rushing waters. The following is a guide on the best 2 kayak training centers in Tennessee where you can join:

Watauga Kayak

Here, you will choose a course, depending on your capacity and interests. You can either have group lessons or private teachings.

Nantahala Outdoor Kayaking Center

This center has the best-experienced teachers for paddling activities. As a beginner, you will be sure to have the best kayaking skills and abilities. Trainers will take you through basic kayaking fundamentals as well as kayaking exercises until you become a pro.

5 Best Kayaking Places In Tennessee

Once you become a pro in kayaking or you are already one, there are several kayaking places in Tennessee where you can visit and enjoy yourself. Let us look at the top 5:

1.Hiwassee River

This river flows along a wide valley, making it perfect for kayakers. The best portion of the river is below TVA Appalachia Powerhouse, just some few miles upstream of Reliance. This place is perfect for both beginners and pro kayakers.

2.Tennessee River

This river offers the most beautiful features in the whole of the Tennessee region. The largest piece, which is also the best region for kayakers is the Tennessee Grand Canyon, originally known as the Tennessee River Gorge.

3.Duck River

This river is about 270 miles long and it flows through Middle Tennessee from East to West. The Carpenter Bridge Route starting from Carpenter’s Bridge up to Leftwich Bridge is the best location for experienced kayakers. Cheeks Bend Route starting from Sowell Mill Pike at Leftwich Bridge is best for beginners.

4.The West Prong River

This river is for the elite kayakers only since it comprises continuous boulder-dodging action that only calls for the skilled ones. The top part is at the Chimney’s Picnic Area, either upstream or downstream of this area. Avoid swimming in this area.

5.Ocoee River

This river flows down Highway 64, Polk County, in the Cherokee National Forest. It is easy to access, plus it has non-stop rapid waters. Peak period for kayaking is during summer. The best part for kayaking is in the middle section of the river below the White-water Center. The upper section of the river is for the most experienced kayakers only.


Most noteworthy, having the best places to practice kayaking makes the exercise more enjoyable. Tennessee has everything each kayaker needs, whether you are a beginner who wants to learn how to kayak or a pro who wants to exercise or compete with others.

Those who do not have a kayak, do not worry since you will get various companies that rent kayaks at an affordable price. Finally, now that you have an essential guide to kayaking in Tennessee, please visit the place and have fun.

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