Cumberland River Paddlefest

This annual paddling event makes it easy for anyone to experience the fun of a canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard...especially when it's for the first time.

When it comes to having fun on the water, Tennessee is overflowing with opportunity. With over 60 thousand miles of streams and around 540 thousand acres of lakes, there are plenty of places to get out and get wet. One of those is Old Hickory Lake, just north of Nashville, where hundreds of people gathered together for the Cumberland River Paddlefest. As Wild Side Guide Lindsay Merwin discovered, this annual paddling event makes it easy for anyone to experience this popular pastime…especially when it’s for the first time.

During the course of the story, Lindsay tried paddleboarding for the first time and we were all amazed at how quickly she got up and got going…impressive! Special thanks to Dave Widmer and Soulshine SUP for taking Lindsay out on her maiden voyage. And if you think it looked like fun, be sure make plans to attend next year, because Paddlefest will be back, bigger and better than ever. The event is organized by Paddle Adventures Unlimited, a Middle Tennessee paddling group. (Click here to watch a story about them.)

But you don’t have to wait until next year to give paddling a try…there are lot’s of opportunities to get started! See below for a list of some paddling groups and outfitters who will be glad to help start you on a journey of paddling paradise.

From show 2808

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (statewide)

Tennessee Valley Canoe Club (Chattanooga)

Higher Pursuits (Columbia)

Chota Canoe Club (Knoxville)

Davidson County Parks & Recreation (Nashville)

Outdoor Chattanooga




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