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When you go boating in Tennessee, you’ll see why the state is known for its beautiful landscapes. Boating is truly one of the best ways to explore this state’s natural beauty. From majestic rivers to peaceful lakes, Tennessee is home to a variety of waterways that offer stunning views of the mountains and unforgettable experiences. Here are some of the most scenic waterways to explore in Tennessee.

potters falls in eastern tennessee

Cumberland River 

The Cumberland River is a vast waterway that runs through Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama. It’s one of the most popular rivers in Tennessee. It offers a variety of scenic views, including towering bluffs, historic sites, and waterfalls. One of the best ways to explore the Cumberland River is by taking a guided boat tour, which can provide a unique perspective on the river’s beauty.

Tennessee River

The Tennessee River is the largest river in Tennessee, running over 650 miles from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky. Along the way, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the river’s winding path, as well as explore historic sites and quaint towns. One of the best ways to experience the Tennessee River is by floating leisurely in a canoe and taking in all the views. You are likely to see many anglers off one of the many greenways or docks as you enjoy a picturesque ride.

Norris Lake

Norris Lake is a beautiful reservoir located in eastern Tennessee, surrounded by the lush greenery of the Appalachian Mountains. It is considered by most to be one of the most remarkable lakes in Tennessee. The lake offers crystal-clear water and beautiful coves that are perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the lake’s stunning scenery and wildlife, including eagles, osprey, and deer. While you’re out on the water, be sure to observe some of the beautiful limestone formations in the hills that provide a fascinating perspective of the geology of the area. Norris Lake is also close to several parks with beautiful hiking trails. 

Ocoee River

The Ocoee River is a beautiful waterway located in southeastern Tennessee. It’s known not only for its whitewater rapids (it was the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater events) but also for its stunning scenery. Visitors can take a guided rafting tour down the river, which offers a thrilling adventure through the beautiful wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest.


Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake is a natural lake located in northwest Tennessee, known for its stunning sunsets and for having perhaps the most unique wildlife of all the lakes in Tennessee. The lake is home to a variety of fish and birds, including bald eagles, pelicans, and great blue herons. Along the shoreline, you are presented with some marvelous aquatic plants that bring even more life into this gorgeous body of water. Visitors can take a scenic boat tour to explore the lake’s beauty and learn about its unique history.


In conclusion, Tennessee is home to a variety of scenic waterways that offer breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful lake or a thrilling whitewater adventure, there is something for everyone in Tennessee’s beautiful waterways. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of this amazing state.

If you’re ready to explore some of Tennessee’s waterways on your own, you’re probably in search of the perfect boat. Luckily, getting a boat loan in Tennessee is pretty simple! If you are in need of a boat loan, be sure to check out our online credit application. The form takes just minutes to complete, and one of our specialists will contact you shortly afterward. 

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