Kayaking the Caney Fork River: A Travel Review


The Caney Fork River in Tennessee is a beautiful place for an all day (FREE) adventure. Did I mention it was free??

I am by no means an experienced kayaker, but if you know the basics, it will be an easy trip. I mean it! I kayaked with my one year old!

My youngest, lounging and eating while we kayaked!

The trip itself is about 6 miles long with the most gorgeous sights! The water is cold and clear which helps during a hot summer day. It is filled with rainbow trout, so if you decide to fish, just remember to bring your fishing license. My kids had a blast watching the fisherman reel in huge trout and watching them jump out of the water.

Now, I will not lie, but there were some things that made the trip a little difficult. There is a business there that rents out kayaks and canoes so there may be people everywhere. They thin out around the first bend, though. Also, the dam releases water about two times a day so currents can pick up a little and the water does have a tendency to rise quickly. It is always good to check the times that the dam gets released. Lastly, the fishermen. Through the beginning, you will find people standing in the river and fishing, this may be a little nerve-wracking to navigate through, but they were friendly and let us through.

I will say that the most important thing to do, is to have lunch ready! Especially if you plan on bringing your kids. Easy and accessible is key. We packed chips, already made sandwiches, juice and plenty of water.


Overall, It was a fun experience and we plan to do it all over again. I was proud of ourselves for getting through it with our kids. Nature is an amazing thing and not only did it do the body well, but there was a huge change in my kids. They were well behaved and completely respectful of their surroundings. It was truly one of the best experiences to date! If you are and adventure junkie that is always looking for a new place to check out, then I highly recommend this place!

Driving Directions:

From Interstate 40 (I-40) coming from NC, take exit 273, then turn south on Hwy 56 (Smithville Hwy) toward Smithville.


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Hi, I'm Lisa- I am a bilingual, mama from SoCal living life in North Carolina alongside my adventurous family! I love crafting, cooking, photography, and exploring our new home state. I also enjoy learning new things and my hopes are that you give in to your creative side and try something new!

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