a 12 mile race on a scenic Class 1 river in NE Tennessee April 29, 2017
The Powell River in Tennessee flows 114 miles from the Virginia state line to its confluence in Norris Lake with the Clinch River. The Powell River is one of the two largest, free-flowing (no dams upstream) rivers in Tennessee and offers year-round paddling and fishing opportunities through the beautifully wooded and rural Cumberland Mountains. The Powell River (together with its sister river, the Clinch) have been described by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as being two of “the most biologically diverse rivers” in the U.S.
On April 29, 2017, the Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Third Annual Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta, a 12 mile race beginning at the Well Being Retreat Center and ending at Riverside (Kayak) Rentals in Claiborne County, Tennessee. Last April (2016), there 82 boats competed in the 9 events including 28 boats from out-of-state. Several seasoned kayakers called the Regatta their “new favorite venue.”
The Powell River Blueway Trail is an effort by the Powell River Tourism Committee of the Claiborne County (TN) Chamber of Commerce to provide information to allow greater public enjoyment of the resource that the Powell River provides. River access information will be added as it becomes available – here.
Flows in the Powell River
The Powell River flows year round. However, as an free-flowing river, flows are entirely dependent on the upstream precipitation and ground moisture conditions. Generally, the Powell River is a Class 1 river with long flowing segments, intermittent rapids, and a few ledges (at extreme low water). There are two U.S.G.S flow gauges on the Powell that give flow reading every 15 minutes:
USGS Gauge at Jonesville, Virginia: Here’s the Link.
USGS Gauge at Arthur, Tennessee (River Mile 64): Here’s the Link.
River fluctuations in Jonesville will generally be seen in the Tennessee segments of the Powell River 18 – 30 hours later. The gauging station at Arthur gives a pretty good idea of current flow in the Tennessee portion of the Powell. The Powell enters the slack waters of Norris Lake between RM 35 and 55 depending on the elevation of Norris Lake, which is typically lowered during winter months.