Enjoy a Local Rare River By Steve Roark TN Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry Division

The Powell River is truly one of our area’s most unique natural areas and one that is greatly underutilized. It offers fantastic scenery, fishing and paddling opportunities, wildlife viewing, and a wide array of tree and plant species to enjoy. To truly appreciate the river, you really need to float it.

The Powell is one of the largest, free-flowing rivers in Tennessee and Virginia, winding through beautiful mountain forest and farmland scenery. It is predominately a quiet flatwater river that is suitable for beginning paddlers. The EPA and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service both identify the Powell as one of the most biologically diverse rivers in the United States. This diversity includes many rare and endangered fish and mussel species, along with a large diversity of trees and plants that grow on the complex soils, cliff lines, and other terrain features that border the river.

An opportunity to enjoy the Powell River is coming up on April 29th, when the 3rd annual Powell River Regatta will take place in Claiborne County near Tazewell.  This 12 mile float will let you compete (if you wish) for cash prizes in various age groups and canoe and kayak styles (single or double). If you don’t want to compete, you can still get some exercise while enjoying some memorable scenery.  Blue heron, ducks, kingfisher, and even osprey have been seen during past events. Boat rentals will be available.

The event is a production of the Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce. The entry fee ($30 for single and $50 for double) goes to benefit the Powell River Blueway Trail project, whose goal is to establish more boat put in sites along the river to allow more public use an amazing natural area. For more information or to register for the Regatta go to www.PowellRiverBlueway.org, or  ww.Facebook.com/PowellRiver Regatta.


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