The Region
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Waterways

The Tennessee River and its many tributaries run through the heart of East Tennessee, bringing economic development and recreation advantages to the region.  The Tennessee River connects with the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which gives the region access to the Gulf of Mexico via the Port of Mobile.

With waterway access to 14 river systems and more than half of the nation’s population, the Tenn-Tom plays a vital role in the region’s waterborne transportation and manufacturing.

Waterways highlights:

  • 2 barge lines provide service in East Tennessee
  • The Tennessee River, part of the Interconnected Inland Water System, links the region with 21 states, the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes
  • The 234 mile Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway connects 16,000 miles of waterways and links the region with 13 other states and the Gulf of Mexico
  • Atlantic ports of Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk, and Newport-News are easily accessed by truck and/or rail
East Tennessee lakes
East Tennessee barges
East Tennessee rivers