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Cumberland River


Cumberland River

Town(s): Gallatin TN, Lebanon TN, Nashville TN, Old Hickory TN, Mount Juliet TN, Hendersonville TN

Size: acres
Average Depth: 41 feet
Maximum Depth: 200 feet

Boating Allowed: Kayaks, Canoes, Sail Boats, Electric Motor Boats, Power Boats, Jet-skis, State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply
Boating Comments: At lower water flows and when the dam is not generating electricity through its turbines, however, the Cumberland is ideal for small boats. The first 16 miles of water from Lake Cumberland's Wolf Creek Dam to Winfrey's Ferry is a great place for canoeists, kayakers and owners of small johnboats to float and fish.
Swimming: Swimming Allowed, Some Restrictions

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The Cumberland River is a major waterway of the Southern United States. The 688-mile-long river drains almost 18,000 square miles of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. The river flows generally west from a source in the Appalachian Mountains to its confluence with the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, and the mouth of the Tennessee River. Major tributaries include the Obey, Caney Fork, Stones, and Red rivers.

Although the Cumberland River basin is predominantly rural, there are also some large cities on the river, including Nashville and Clarksville, both in Tennessee. Also, the river system has been extensively developed for flood control, with major dams impounding both the main stem and many of its important tributaries.

Northeast of Nashville, the river is dammed twice more, forming Cordell Hull Lake and Old Hickory Lake. 

It is definitely not safe to swim in the Cumberland River. Sometimes, it is possible to swim in one of the lakes, but even that is becoming rarer and harder to do, because the lakeside parks that have little beaches are less accessible than they used to be. Coal ash has the potential to seep below the pond, which results in groundwater contamination. If a wet-storage pond wall fails to hold up, large amounts of toxic waste can reach the local area, which includes the Cumberland River.

 The Riverfront Park is an example of one of the amazing attractions along the Cumberland River. The park is also a venue for The Country Music Awards and in the summer there are musical events taking place every Thursdays. There are also cruises on the river, one being the “General Jackson“, a non gambling old fashioned paddle boat that offers a 3 hour cruise with two shows a day or evenings trips and a special brunch on Sundays. Any cruise is a choice experience to completely experience the river, peacefully with all senses alert to the scenery along the banks. The river also has a pedestrian bridge where you are able to view extraordinary views of nature as well as the skyline of Nashville, plus it traverses one side of the river to the other as you walk or bike across the bridge to avail yourself of the areas nature trails. Across the Cumberland River stands the impressive and stately Cumberland River Bridge, a pedestrian bridge connecting parts of downtown Nashville. The Cumberland River pedestrian bridge is impressive, especially in the early mornings or at sunset when the sun paints beautiful colors along the sparkling waters.


Water Quality: Town/State Monitoring
Vegetation Growth: Unknown
Non-native Species: Unknown

Fishing Comments: Trophy brown trout swim in the Cumberland River, as do bountiful numbers of rainbow trout. The river is also home to walleye, sauger and oversized striped bass. For anglers using a spinning rod, a red, white or chartreuse in-line spinner attracts strikes from trout. Smaller suspending jerkbaits work as well.

Boat Access: Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Parking Spaces: 21-40

Shoreline Development: Unknown