Tennessee River

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Tennessee River, once called the Cherokee River, is the major tributary of the Ohio River. It is born near Knoxville, Tennessee, before looping to the south through Northern Alabama, forming a tiny part of the border of the state of Mississippi, before flowing through middle Tennessee and emptying into the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky.

The Tennessee River was central in the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a government program built in the 1930s to provide flood relief, hydropower, and improved navigation for the region's farmers after the great depression. Numerous dams were built on the river which resulted in the creation of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.



Apx. 650 miles


Junction of the Holston and French Broad Rivers, near Knoxville, Tennessee


Ohio River at Paducah, Kentucky