5 Great Paddleboarding Spots in Tennessee

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

5 Great Paddleboarding Spots in Tennessee

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Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the Tennessee area. With a vast number of lakes, rivers, and waterways throughout the state, it’s no surprise that water sport enthusiasts are finding their way to the sport. Next time you’re in Tennessee and have a hankering to stand-up paddleboard, consider the following five great spots throughout the state.  

1. Tennessee River Gorge

The Tennessee River Gorge near Chattanooga is part of the greater Tennessee River Blueway, a 50-mile stretch designated a National Scenic River Trail. The gorge takes up 26 miles along the river. The River Gorge is used for the Chattajack paddleboard race. The winds along the gorge can be a bit unpredictable, so watch out for that. Rent your equipment and consider taking lessons with Live Life Skate and Paddle Co in Chattanooga before getting out on the water

2. Mead’s Quarry Lak

Mead’s Quarry Lake is part of the greater Ijams Nature Center near Knoxville, Tennessee. The nature center has partnered with River Sports Outfitters for paddleboard and kayak rentals, making exploring Mead’s Quarry painless. New to paddleboarding? Consider signing up for one of Ijams Outdoor Academy classes. Their regularly updated calendar of events has all the program information you need.

3. Norris Lake

Norris Lake is one of Tennessee’s “Best Kept Secrets,” according to their website. Lakeside real estate makes Norris Lake a fantastic vacation spot. Many of the marinas have paddleboard rentals, including Norris Dam Marina. Book a rental online or take part in one of their lessons. Keep in mind the frequent appearance of boats on the lake that you’ll have to navigate around. 

4. Cumberland River

The Cumberland River winds through Nashville, Tennessee, providing a unique opportunity for paddleboard enthusiasts to see the city from a different perspective. Big Willie’s Action Sports in Nashville is happy to help get you on your paddleboarding adventure. Rent a board and take advantage of their guided tours, as well as beginner and advanced lessons. Tours of the Cumberland start at $50 per person. 

5. Lake Ocoee, Ocoee, TN

Lake Ocoee in Ocoee, Tennessee, is comprised of three separate, smaller lakes. The largest lake is 7.5 miles-long with a 50-mile shoreline. The water is mostly still, which provides a great location for intermediate paddleboarders to strut their stuff. Ocoee Paddleboarding offers paddle board rentals, lessons, and tours right on the lake. Choose from two-hour, four-hour, and all-day paddleboarding and make your reservation using their website.  

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