If you haven’t hit the water aboard a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, it’s about time you do! Paddlesports are affordable, a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and a great way to stay fit without spending hours in the gym. Anderson County offers several places where you can put those paddles to work and enjoy the beauty of East Tennessee.
Norris Lake – with over 800 miles of shoreline and hundreds of private coves, there is always a great place to paddle on Norris Lake. With an abundance of public launch sites and parks available, you will have no trouble finding an easy access point for your kayak, canoe or paddleboard. If you aren’t familiar with the lake, purchasing a lake map is probably a good idea. Don’t be surprised if you see the occasional river otter or even an eagle. If you put in close to a marina, be sure to paddle up and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner on the water. You can find a list of boat ramps on Norris Lake here and for TWRA access points, click here.
Clinch River – The Clinch River is a breathtaking river that is known around the country as a premier trout fishery, but it’s also an incredible place to kayak and canoe. The river is dammed by Norris Dam in Anderson County and once released, the Clinch’s tailwater offers 13 majestic miles of fantastic paddling. The river runs through the town of Clinton and into the backwaters of Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge. The Clinch River is surrounded by East Tennessee beauty and an abundance of wildlife. Class I and II waterways of the Clinch make it perfect for beginner paddlers and those looking for a relaxing day. There are many places to put in and take out, so you can paddle for a short trip or make it an all-day adventure. We recommend mapping out your trip beforehand. You can find a map with access points here. The most important thing to remember when paddling the Clinch River is to check the TVA water release schedule online or download their app.
Melton Hill Lake – Melton Hill Lake offers miles of calm, flat water making it the ideal place for paddling sports. There are multiple launch sites, so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to begin your paddling adventure. Melton Hill Lake is nationally known as one of the best 2,000 meter rowing courses in the US, so it’s no wonder it has become popular as a paddling destination as well. One popular area for paddlers is the Haw Ridge Park Canoe Trail, a flat-water canoeing and sea kayaking area without hazards of competition with power boats. Wherever your paddling adventure takes you on Melton Hill Lake, you’re sure to have a great time!
Big Ridge State Park – Big Ridge State Park lies on the southern shore of Norris Lake and is home to Big Ridge Lake, a 49 acre lake that is perfect to explore by kayak, canoe or paddle board. You can bring your own equipment or rent from the park. Canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks and SUPs are available to rent. The clear, shallow water of the spring fed lake make it ideal for exploring and even kayak fishing. There are many great spots along the shoreline to have a picnic, so be sure to pack a lunch and make a day of it. To find out more about paddling at Big Ridge, click here.
Rentals – Rentals are available at two different locations making it possible to paddle at different waterways in Anderson County. Norris Paddling Adventures, located at Norris Dam Marina offers rentals to be used on Norris Lake and the Clinch River. Adventures Outdoors is located on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge. Both rental locations offer kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, hydro-bikes and paddleboats. If you are new to paddlesports, don’t worry! A quick lesson will be given to ensure you have a fantastic and safe time on the water!