Southern Blue Ridge Mountains & Foothills

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The Hiwassee River and its tributary stream, the Ocoee River, are very popular whitewater recreation destinations in Southeast Tennessee’s Polk County. They present a unique example of collaboration among several government agencies.

The flow of the rivers is physically regulated by the Tennessee Valley Authority for the dual purposes of hydroelectric power generation and river recreation. The land through which the rivers flow is part of the Cherokee National Forest, 650,000 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains stretching along the entire eastern boundary of Tennessee, divided by Great Smoky Mountains National Park and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Hunting and fishing within the national forest is primarily managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

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