Cruises on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga
Enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the 27,000 acre canyon carved out by 26 miles
of the Tennessee River over thousands of years. It is the fourth largest river
canyon east of the Mississippi and the only large river canyon bordering a mid-size
city. The diverse landscape of the gorge provides habitats for more than a
thousand varieties of plants, ferns, trees, grasses and flowers as well as a rich
wildlife population. Nearly 200 different species of birds inhabit “Tennessee’s
For More information on Cruising the Tennessee River, click here.
- Pause to watch great blue herons tending their nest, raccoons rambling along the riverbank, hawks and eagles soaring along the canyon rim, or belted kingfishers defending their territory. Explore the renowned diversity of species and habitats that rivals that of the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Imagine rumbling thunder rolling along the canyon walls from the home of the Cherokee’s “Maker of Thunder.” His home is in the heart of the gorge at Untiguhi or Pot in Water, one of 66 known sacred places of the Cherokee.
- Relive the native stories of the “little people” at the whirlpool or the Suck. Archaeological evidence along our route tells the stories of the various Native American cultures who inhabited this river valley for over 10,000 years.
- Cruise in the wake of the early pioneers. The “Narrows” was one of the most harrowing obstacles on their westward journey. Through this canyon they had to overcome rapids, shoals, whirlpools and the formidable Chickamaugas who defended the canyon until the death of their chief “Dragging Canoe.”
- Pause and reflect in remembrance of the many that perished on the Trail of Tears. In the 1830s the Cherokee and other native peoples were forcibly removed to reservations in the West. This exodus began at Ross’s Landing and the Gorge was the primary water route for the exiles.
- Remember the earlier industrial days of the beginning of our city as we pass the ruins of an abandoned coal mining community at Shakerag.
- Pay tribute to the soldiers that fought for Chattanooga at Lookout Mountain, Moccasin Bend, Brown’s Ferry, Kelly’s Ferry, William’s Island, the Haley Trace, and Signal Point. These waypoints on our cruise were all significant during the Civil War Between the States.
- Journey on the more modern river created by the TVA. In the 1930s they tamed this once treacherous portion of the “wildest river in the west.” The Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility is an engineering marvel.
- Visit the captain in the pilot house and learn about navigation, inland waters, and the commercial tows as they slowly navigate the winding waters of the river.
- Hunt for turkey, deer, squirrel, beavers and other wildlife in the Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area. You can even shoot them… with your camera.