Tennessee Scenic Rivers

The Tennessee Scenic Rivers Program is intended to preserve and protect the free flowing, unpolluted and outstanding scenic, recreational, geologic, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic or cultural values of selected rivers or river segments in the state. More about National & State scenic rivers.

Nineteen rivers or segments of rivers are included in the state scenic rivers program. Program oversight is provided by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Rivers are managed cooperatively with other state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations following the standards outlined in the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (Title 11; Chapter 13). Tennessee has one river included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program which is managed cooperatively with the National Park Service and follows the standards outlined in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.).

About the map: Type your river of interest on the search box below or navigate through the map. Click on the rivers to find out their name. See the tools by the search box, including a ruler to take measurements and GPS points, you can also select a different base map, and print your map.


Division of Natural Areas
Roger McCoy
(615) 804-2802

Blackburn Fork

Jackson County - Blackburn Fork River is located on the Highland Rim in the Upper Cumberland Plateau. It is a tributary of the Roaring River originating near Cookeville. Designated in 1968.


Lawrence County - The Buffalo River is the longest un-impounded river in middle Tennessee and the longest tributary of the Duck River. Designated in 1968.

Cain Creek

Description and image coming soon. Designated in 2023.


Roane, Anderson & Knox Counties - The Clinch River rises in Southwest Virginia near Tazewell, Virginia and flows southwest through the Great Appalachian Valley gathering various tributaries before joining the Tennessee River in East Tennessee. Designated in 1996.


Grundy County - The Collins River originates in the east central portion of Tennessee along the Cumberland Plateau and flows to the confluence with the Caney Fork River upstream of Great Falls Dam.  Designated in 1968.


Polk County -  The Conasauga River originates in the Cohutta Mountains in Northwest Georgia and flows 93 miles before reaching the confluence of the Oostanaula River. Designated in 1969.


Maury County - The Duck River is the longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee. It originates in the “Barrens” on the Highland Rim and flows through seven middle Tennessee counties before reaching its confluence with the Tennessee River near New Johnsonville. First designated in 2001. Additional segment designated in 2023.

Duskin Creek

Rhea County - A tributary of the Piney Scenic River, Duskin Creek Scenic River contains the segment of Duskin Creek from its confluence with Newby Branch. Designated in 2020.

French Broad

Cocke County - The French Broad River is 213 miles long. It begins just west of the Eastern Continental Divide near Rosman NC and flows into Tennessee where it is impounded behind Douglas Dam and continues to the confluence with the Holston River in Knoxville. Designated in 1968.


Rutherford & Davidson Counties - The Harpeth River originates in Eagleville, Tennessee and flows nearly 125 miles to the confluence of the Cumberland River near Ashland City. Designated in 1968.


McNairy, Hardeman, Madison, Haywood, Tipton & Lauderdale Counties - The Hatchie River originates in northern Mississippi and is the longest free-flowing tributary of the lower Mississippi River totaling 238 miles. The scenic river section flows from the Mississippi State line to the confluence with the Mississippi River. Designated in 1970.


Polk County - The Hiwassee River originates on the north slope of Rocky Mountain, Georgia and flows 147 miles to its confluence with the Tennessee River. Designated in 1968.

Little Piney Creek

Rhea County - A tributary of Soak Creek Scenic River, Little Piney Creek Scenic River is comprised of the continuous segment of Little Piney Creek entirely within Piney Falls State Natural Area. Designated in 2020. 

North Chickamauga Creek

Description and image coming soon. Designated in 2023.


Morgan County - The Obed River originates near Crossville and flows to the mouth of the Emory River offering many recreational opportunities. Designated in 1976.

Piney River

Rhea County - This is a Class I Natural Scenic River and was designated in 2020.

Roaring River

Jackson & Overton Counties - The Roaring River originates on the Highland Rim near Livingston and flows 37.7 miles to the confluence of Cordell Hull Lake. At the confluence is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Roaring River Recreation Area. Designated in 1968.

Soak Creek

Bledsoe & Rhea County- The Soak Creek originates in Cumberland County Tennessee and flows down the Cumberland Plateau into a remote cliff-lined canyon of primitive Appalachian wilderness to its confluence with The Piney River near Spring City, Tennessee. Designated 2016. 

Spring Creek

Jackson & Overton Counties - Spring Creek is located along the Upper Cumberland Plateau near Cookeville. Like Blackburn Fork River, it is a tributary of the Roaring River with no public canoe/kayak access points. Designated in 1968.

Tuckahoe Creek

Knox County - The Tuckahoe Creek originates in Jefferson County with the scenic river segment meandering 16.1 miles along farmlands and rural communities in Knox County to the confluence of the French Broad River near Kodak. Designated in 1968.