Apalachia Powerhouse Boat Ramp to Highway 411 Bridge Ramp
Primarily Class I and Class II rapids with some Class III rapids
The upper section of the Hiwassee River is the most popular section of river, offering an easy to moderate whitewater experience. The upper Hiwassee winds through the mountains of the Cherokee National Forest and is a designated Tennessee Scenic River, a status intended to preserve and protect free-flowing, unpolluted and outstanding rivers segments in the state.
Based on the International Scale of River Difficulty, the upper section of the Hiwassee River is primarily Class I (moving water with small waves, few obstructions) and Class II (easy rapids with wide, clear channels; some maneuvering required). Two rapids are generally considered Class III (rapids with high waves capable of swamping an open canoe; requires complex maneuvering).
Paddling and rafting on the whitewater section of the river takes place Memorial Day through Labor Day (seven days a week) and on Saturdays from Labor Day through October. Coast Guard-approved PFDs are required for adults and children on the upper section of the Hiwassee State Scenic River Blueway.
Water levels along the upper section of the Hiwassee River are managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from Apalachia Dam above Reliance, Tenn. It is important to understand the water schedule before paddling or swimming in the river as the water’s current and depth can change rapidly. TVA’s water release schedule can be found online at www.tva.gov/Environment/Lake-Levels/Apalachia.
TVA generates power from Appalachia Powerhouse. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, TVA generally operates a recreation schedule seven days a week (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). From Labor Day through October, the recreation schedule operates on Saturdays (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Always check the TVA schedule or call the outfitters before making a trip.
Fishing is the primary sport on the upper section of the Hiwassee River between October and Memorial Day. Fast-moving water provides great habitat for rainbow trout and brown trout, which are stocked year-round by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Fishing is popular along the riverbanks or in fishing holes within the river where trout may hide.
From October 1 through the last day of February, TWRA operates a delayed harvest area from Appalachia Powerhouse to the L&N Railroad Bridge in Reliance. During the delayed harvest, only catch-and-release fishing is allowed and only artificial lures are allowed. From March 1 through September 30, the trout creel limit is seven of all species combined and only two may be brown trout.
Please check TWRA fishing guide for all fishing regulations and license requirements.
|Access Point||Mile||Parking||Camping||Restrooms||Fees||More Info||Map|
|Powerhouse Boat Ramp||55||Overnight - Gravel with Greater Than 25 spaces.||No||Yes||Yes||Map|
|Towee||53.9||Yes - Paved with 5-10 spaces.||No||No||Yes||Additional parking along Powerhouse Rd.||Map|
|Reliance||49.6||Yes - Gravel with Greater Than 25 spaces.||Yes||Yes||No||Rentals and Shuttle Services Available (423) 338-2373||Map|
|Gee Creek||44.7||Yes - Paved with Less Than 25 spaces.||Yes||Yes||No||State Park Campground. Fee required.||Map|
|Highway 411||43.7||Overnight - Gravel with Less Than 25 spaces.||No||No||No||Small rundown ramp with large parking area under Highway 411 bridge.||Map|