Kayak Tennessee in May 2022

Hello All, I am planning on Camping (Car) /Kayaking in Tennessee at the beginning of May 2022 for a week or so. Flexible dates/locations. Have not previously visited this state. Have been looking online for ideas. Have been kayaking in the ocean/FL for many years, very limited river kayaking. Not into Rapid water above 2+. Interested in what you have to see for “Must see” areas. Also looking for a group to put in/put out for river trips. Thank You.

Well, if you are looking to paddle natural lakes, you will only find one in Tennessee, Reelfoot Lake in far Western, TN and it took a massive earthquake to form it. Otherwise the lakes are all reservoirs and other river impoundments.

Some of the “unnatural” lakes can be pretty scenic, especially those up in the mountains along the TN/NC border which are impoundments of the Little Tennessee River. These include Calderwood and Chilhowee, and if you are willing to venture a short distance across the border into North Carolina, Lake Santeetlah is quite interesting.

There are a number of relatively benign non-whitewater rivers in Central Tennessee that are worth checking out. These include the Duck, the Elk, the Buffalo, the Harpeth, and sections of the Cumberland.

If you are up to try some relatively easy whitewater on a very scenic river (nothing more than Class II) check out the Hiwassee River in East Tennessee which has regularly scheduled releases during the Spring and Summer.

The Hiwassee and Cumberland are on my short list.
Class 1, I’m good with and enjoy.
I appreciate the feedback/information!
Thank You!

If your going to make a trip down to Nashville. Me and my wife are always looking for someone else to Kayak with. Manly so we don’t have to drive both of our cars. I have a truck, so easy to put all the kayaks in after we drop one vehicle off. Just message me when you are thinking about coming and we can figure out some trips to go on. We just started Kayaking the rivers here 2 years ago, so we are open to anywhere. And if you like good music (not country) then we can check and see who is in town when you come thru. Our weekends are rivers when we can and live music all the time. FYI I use to live in Jacksonville Beach, FL before I moved here

Hello JT, Thank You for the invite. I am not sure if I will be coming to Nashville, but there is a fair chance that I will. If so, may be after the 7th or so. Will let you know. Thanks again, James

Chattanooga is a great option. The town is amazing and has a vibrant paddling community. Locally you’ll have rivers, lakes and creeks to choose from. A short drive away is the Sequatchie river, The Ocoee (up to class V), The Hiawassee and others.

Thank You!

cool, just let me know

Reelfoot is like many Fl lakes with lots of cypress trees and canals throught the forest. The north end is a bird sanctuary with thousands at the right time of year.