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French Broad River Blueway

Outdoor Adventures, Water Trail (Blueway)

The French Broad water trail is suitable for kayaking and canoeing.


The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world and is a part of the Tennessee River Valley system. The river is 228 miles long in all; however the portion in the state of Tennessee expands 102 miles long through four counties including Cocke, Jefferson, Sevier and Knox where it merges with the Tennessee River east of Knoxville.

The French Broad River has a great variety of plant life including sycamore, beech, birch, black willow, sugar maple, and hornbeam trees. There are many locations to access the river; however the main location would be in Cocke County. This area offers river access points 4-5 miles apart for paddling kayaks and canoes. Once in Knox County, you will flow directly into the Tennessee River and will be close to the urban downtown area with many access points that are very close together.

There are camping sites along the French Broad River for your group to use including Tent Camping USA, Douglas Dam and Tailwaters Campground.

Go to to view a map of the blueway. For a free hard copy of the map, click here and fill out the request form.

For up-to-date river access listings, see the Geotourism Mapguide page "French Broad River - Cocke County".

Best Access Points

-Volunteer Landing
-Island Home Park
-Holston River Park
-Forks of the River
-Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge
-Claussen Landing
-Rankin Bottoms

How to Get There

Knoxville location at Volunteer Landing: I-40 to exit 388A, James White Parkway South and follow the Parkway to the Neyland Drive Exit. Take left at the first red light into Volunteer Landing. There are two launch areas. The one to the left is past the riverboat pier and the one to the right is a set of stairs leading to the river. The right launch is suitable only for very small craft and
you must portage to the parking area.


Year round.


Two hard copy maps are available for purchase.

Nearby Places